The exhibit also features a retrospective group of 50 of Richard's original ceramics
accepted int MoNA's permanent collection,
introductory exhibition of
select 28 x 22 mixed media collages
by dixie parker-fairbanks
featuring Richard Fairbanks ceramics
more images on art gallery page
The NORDIC HERITAGE MUSEUM
in Ballard (north Seattle)
MARCH 4 to May 22, 2011
Photographs on EVENTS page.
Related book available at the museum or here on the PUBLICATIONS page.
please see the publication page
Soft cover, 8 1/2 x 11, 178 pages, 41 full color plates
published by the
RICHARD FAIRBANKS AMERICAN POTTER FOUNDATION
Dixie Parker-Fairbanks on Richard's connection to Finland and the Arabia factory.
Professor Emeritus Val Cushing on his association with Professor Kyllikki Salmenhaara
and a history of Alfred University's graduate ceramic department.
Eric Nelson, Executive Director,
Janet S, Rauscher, Chief Curator
Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle
Featured photographs include 41 full color plates of Richard Fairbank's restored 1960 Arabia ceramics
and nine full page images of Professor Cushings ceramics from that era.
Also, are Richard's images of Kyllikki Salmenhaara's most important ceramics
at the height of her career, during one of the most significant periods of 20th-century crafts.
Additionally are excepts from Fairbanks' Helsinki journal
providing a rare record of the Arabia ceramic department
and his professional and personal relationships with a number of the great Finnish ceramic artists
including Kaj Franck and Oiva Toikka.
Fairbanks photographed by Salmenhaara in his Arabia factory studio.
RICHARD FAIRBANKS 1927-1989
The young Drake University professor was awarded a Fulbright grant to Finland in 1959
to study at Taideteolliunen Oppilatos (The Institute of Industrial Arts) and
invited to be a guest artist at the OY Wärtsilä-Arabia manufacturing firm.
After creating 150 ceramics, with limited finances he shipped only 50 pieces home.
This recovered photographic treasure is the only record of his missing Arabia work.
Cushing with his Alfred University students.
VAL CUSHING 1931-
Professor, Emeritus Cushing and Professor Kyllikki Salmenhaara first met while he was a graduate ceramic student at
Alfred University in New York, in 1956.
When the Finnish potter returned years later as a guest professor,
Cushing was then teaching in Alfred's graduate ceramic department.
Professor Cushing remains productive in his studio, exhibiting and lecturing widely
as a highly recognized leader in his field.
It would be an honor for me to be associated with these two artists.
They are both gone but their work lives on and remains powerful examples of what can be achieved
when artists combine experience and mastery of skills and techniques with creativity,
imagination and a clear philosophic point of view.
How I wish the three of us could meet and talk together and share the love we all have for what we do.
An exhibition of our work in the same space would be a conversation between us and one,
I believe, others would understand and enjoy.
(to Dixie Parker-Fairbanks)
June 29, 2005
Salmenhaara photographed by Fairbanks in her Arabia factory studio.
KYLLIKKI SALMENHAARA 1915-1981
A dynamic Arabia potter when Fairbanks met her in 1959,
she became one of the most honored artist-educators of Scandinavia’s Golden Age of Crafts.
A mentor and friend to Fairbanks, after her period at Arabia ended, she traveled abroad for research and teaching,
completing her career at the University of Industrial Arts in Helsinki (UIAH).
PUBLICATION AND EXHIBIT
In her 1999 Introduction to “Essential Passions, Fairbanks-Salmenhaara Letters 1959-1986,”
Margaret Carney, Ph.D, Director, International Museum of Ceramic Art at
Alfred, New York wrote;
Essential Passions” celebrates a friendship spanning nearly three decades,
linking two remarkable potters who remained connected despite
the oceans, miles, years and cultures separating them.
Our project highlights these important cultural links between
three remarkable craftsmen and those who followed
and benefited from that early association.
FINNISH MILK PAIL
C/4 reduction stoneware with chamotte, tan gloss glaze
11 x 7 1/2 inches
produced at Arabia, 1960
stoneware, GF reduction,
blue-grey matte glaze with incised drawing underneath,
10 1/2 x 6 inches
stoneware with chamotte,
10 x 7 inches
Fairbanks's Arabia studio overlooking the bay, Helsinki, Finland 1959-1960
Example of restoration of Richard Fairbank's 1960 recovered Arabia slides.
Fairbanks's unrestored tower jar slide, 1960
Windmill Tower Jar, stoneware, 1960 Richard Fairbanks
2006 restoration by photographer Mitchell D. Cohen, Northbrook, Illinois