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November 6, 2009

CW publishes major work on stoneware in early America

Salt-glazed stoneware vessels were an integral part of daily life in colonial and early America. Now Colonial Williamsburg Foundation curators Janine E. Skerry and Suzanne Findlen Hood have written the first comprehensive book on the topic.

“Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America” chronicles the traditions of stoneware imported from England and Germany as well as the often overlooked work of American potters. Drawing on archaeological and documentary sources and featuring objects from Colonial Williamsburg’s holdings as well as from more than 45 public and private collections, Skerry and Hood provide an invaluable overview of these once-ubiquitous goods.

Robert Hunter, editor of “Ceramics in America,” has called the just-published book “a must-have volume for all ceramic enthusiasts” and “a long-overdue tribute to the often-neglected but indispensable role that stoneware played.”

The book includes more than 300 photos presenting a wide range of stoneware, whether robustly potted in brown or gray or delicately fashioned in white. Written in an accessible style that appeals to specialists and non-specialists alike, “Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America” is an essential reference for archaeologists, curators and collectors.

Skerry was the Foundation’s curator of ceramics and glass from 1993 until earlier this year and is now curator of metals. Hood is associate curator of ceramics and glass. The book and the accompanying exhibition at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum were made possible by generous support from the Richard C. Von Hess Foundation.

“Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America” is co-published by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and University Press of New England. It is available for $75 from WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers® in Colonial Williamsburg’s Visitor Center, 101 A Visitor Center Drive, Everything WILLIAMSBURG in Merchants Square, by phone at 1-800-446-9240 or from Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the Foundation’s preservation, research, and educational programs.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are comprised of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made in America during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and embracing most categories of American folk art by well-known folk artists. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from the period 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets, in Williamsburg, Virginia and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280