ExhibitionsHear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina
Future Exhibition

Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina

February 16 – May 12, 2024

Smep059 Sc157093 O2
Storage Jar, 1857, alkaline-glazed stoneware, Dave (later recorded as David Drake; ca. 1801–1870s); Stony Bluff Manufactory, ca. 1848–1867, Old Edgefield District, South Carolina, 19 inches high, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harriet Otis Cruft Fund and Otis Norcross Fund, 1997.10. Photo © 2022 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

2023.8 De Othello Secrets Safe O2
Woody De Othello (American, born 1991), Secret Safe, 2022, ceramic, glaze, and wood, 58 1/2 × 22 × 22 inches, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with funds from Dwayne Majors and Belinda Stanley-Majors, the Decorative Arts Acquisition Trust, Gregor Turk and Murphy Townsend, Jane and Clay Jackson, and Friends of African American Art, 2023.8. Photo © Woody De Othello.

The High will be the exclusive Southeast venue for this landmark exhibition featuring nearly sixty ceramic objects created by enslaved African Americans in Edgefield, South Carolina, in the decades before the Civil War. Considered through the lens of current scholarship in the fields of history, literature, anthropology, material culture, diaspora, and African American studies, these nineteenth-century vessels testify to the lived experiences, artistic agency, and material knowledge of those who created them. The works include monumental storage jars by literate potter and poet Dave (later recorded as David Drake, ca. 1801–1870s) and rare examples of utilitarian wares and face vessels by unrecorded makers, including a ca. 1840 water cooler jug from the High’s collection. Hear Me Now will also link the past to the present with work by leading contemporary Black artists who have responded to or whose practice connects with the Edgefield story, including Theaster Gates, Simone Leigh, and Woody De Othello. This exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

This exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor 

Premier Exhibition Series Supporters

ACT Foundation, Inc.
William N. Banks, Jr.
Cousins Foundation
Burton M. Gold
Sarah and Jim Kennedy 

Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporters 

Robin and Hilton Howell  

Ambassador Exhibition Series Supporters

Mrs. Fay S. Howell/The Howell Fund
Karen and Jeb Hughes/Corporate Environments
Loomis Charitable Foundation
The Fred and Rita Richman Fund
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot
Mrs. Harriet H. Warren
Elizabeth and Chris Willett

Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters 

Farideh and Al Azadi 
Sandra and Dan Baldwin
Mr. Joseph H. Boland, Jr.
Ceramic Circle of Atlanta 

Mr. and Mrs. Robin E. Delmer
Peggy Foreman
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
Joel Knox and Joan Marmo 
Massey Charitable Trust
Margot and Danny McCaul 
Wade A. Rakes II and Nicholas Miller
USI Insurance Services 

Generous support is also provided by  

Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund , Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund , Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund.