Footed Dish, 1932
Henry Varnum Poor
Earthenware with glaze
Henry Varnum Poor began his artistic career with painting and drawing, but then turned to ceramics for his livelihood. He became one of America's leading ceramicists of the 1920s. Poor, a self-taught potter, thought of ceramics as canvases for his compositions, thus aligning his work more with contemporary paintings than ceramics. The abstract sgraffito decoration, a technique by which slip or glaze is incised to reveal the clay body, and the limited color range are characteristic of Poor's ceramics. The artist made the dish in honor of his parents, Alfred J. Poor and Josephine Graham Poor, whose names encircle the outer rim of the dish. The top of the rim reads: "Love and faith and sometimes even clay can be as golden as the purest gold."
Love is what gives joy to all creation.
Love is what gives joy to giving joy.
I was born of mother love in the beginning.
To that mother, joyous thanks and endless blessing.
Jalal al-Din Rumi
Ode on Solitude
by Alexander Pope
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
Together mixed; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.