"Blade Vase (Form as Surface)" (detail) 2008 by Lindsay Oesterritter


The ceramics collection at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of art at Utah State University has been carefully assembled over the last 25 years through generous bequests, gifts, and purchases. Collecting ceramics by Utah State University extends back to the origins of the Department of Fine Arts at USU in 1956. During the 1970s, the collection became the focal point for planning a museum facility on campus to house not only the ceramics collection, but also other collections that had been acquired by the University. In 1979 and 1980 the final planning took form for the construction of this museum to be named the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art for its patron and benefactor, Nora Eccles Treadwell Harrison. Through the generosity of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation and Mr. Richard Harrison, nearly 500 ceramic works were contributed to the Museum. During 1984-1989, major additions to the collection included a number of Southwest American Indian ceramics. In a little more than two decades, the collection has grown to more than 1,200 objects and represents the vessel tradition crafted by over 400 artists. This collection has become the largest regional repository of modern and contemporary American ceramics.