Pomona, CA – The American Museum of Ceramic Art is honored to present Best Kept Secret: The Scripps College Ceramic Collection, an exhibition organized by The Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College. During the mid-1950s the ceramics department at Otis Art Institute (then Los Angeles County Art Institute) was a place of artistic vitality and innovative energy. The Scripps Collection is also remarkable in that much of it came to the college through one donor, Fred Marer, who was a teacher of modest means. This exhibition of more than one hundred and eighty objects will include works from the Otis group and will also highlight many others, including, Laura Andreson, Robert Arneson, Hans Coper, Phil Cornelius, Shoji Hamada, Jun Kaneko, John Mason, and Jim Melchert.

Curated by Kirk Delman, Collections Manager and Registrar, the exhibition will feature work from the Scripps College Ceramic Collection. At Otis, Peter Voulkos led a “revolution in clay” by questioning the tradition that ceramic forms must be utilitarian and by creating instead nonfunctional, sculptural works that gave the medium a new freedom of expression. Fred Marer was a mathematics professor at Los Angeles City College, and never had substantial resources, but amassed his collection slowly through actual contact with the artists themselves. The show will provide viewers insights into the contributions of individual donors and an opportunity to assess the RCWG’s achievements as a collecting institution for more than six decades.

Voulkos and other notable artists maintained the momentum of this philosophy in Northern California at U.C.
Fred began collecting in the early 1940s, first acquiring a piece by one of the leading ceramists in Southern California, Laura Andreson.

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