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Vase from the Moss and Moonlight series

20th century
Medium & Support
Glazed earthenware
Studio Crafts
Object Type
Credit Line
Museum purchase with funds provided by 2016 Collectors’ Circle members Anne & Nat Burkhardt
Accession Number
No Copyright, United States

Pottery vase in blue matte with image of painted trees and a moon.

This work reflects the most popular style of Newcomb Pottery— the highly sought-after moon and moss motif which often incorporated trees as well. Inspired by the local flora, the trees in this design are Tammany Pines which are found in the Tammany parish district of southern Louisiana. This is one of many works that Anna Frances Connor Simpson decorated using variations of the moon and moss motif.

Label History

Newcomb College Pottery Anna Frances Simpson and Jonathan B. Hunt New Orleans, LA 1880–1930 New Orleans, LA 1876–1943 Vase, 1930 Glazed earthenware Museum purchase with funds provided by 2016 Collectors’ Circle members Nat & Anne Burkhardt, 2016.22.01

Exhibition Title: Intersections in American Art
Label Date: 11/2019
Type: Object Label
Written by: Whitney Richardson

Architecture in Asheville & Art Pottery Three architects shaped the look of Asheville. The two earliest came to the area to work for George Vanderbilt at the Biltmore Estate in the 1890s. Richard Sharp Smith went on to design the Arts and Crafts-style Biltmore Village in 1895 and Rafael Guastavino brought with him a structural tile company whose work is highlighted at the Estate and at St. Lawrence Basilica, built in 1909. The third architect, Douglas D. Ellington, arrived in the mid-1920s and revolutionized the look of Asheville with his Art Deco City Building and S&W Cafeteria. Art pottery was first introduced to the American market at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia. Often functional, but always decorative, art pottery was adopted by local and national potteries alike. Seen here are some of the finest makers of the first quarter of the 20th century, including Western North Carolina’s Pisgah Forest Pottery and Omar Khayyam Pottery. Decorative glass, like the work by Louis Comfort Tiffany, was also new to America and very popular.

Exhibition Title: Intersections in American Art
Label Date: 11/2019
Type: Extended Chat
Written by: Whitney Richardson

Newcomb Pottery was a business enterprise and artist collective established in 1895 for young women attending H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College at Tulane University in New Orleans. It was based on the model of the English Arts and Crafts movement, which valued dignity for artists handmaking everyday objects. After completing graduate school at Newcomb College, Simpson stayed on and joined the pottery business. While men, including Hunt, threw the pottery on the wheel and mixed the glazes, the women designed and decorated the exterior images on the pottery. This vase was part of Newcomb’s most profitable line of pottery called the Moss and Moonlight series, in which the decorators set the regional flora in a dreamy moonlit haze to create ethereal scenes. Depicted here is the Tammany pine tree found in the St. Tammany Parish district of southern Louisiana.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Whitney Richardson

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