A Finding Aid to the Howard Kottler Papers, 1907-2006, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.kotthowa
Creators:
Kottler, Howard, 1930-1989
Dates:
1907-2006
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
11.6 Linear feet
0.014 Gigabytes
Repository:
The Howard Kottler papers measure 11.6 linear feet and 0.014 GB and date from circa 1907-2006. Included are biographical materials consisting of copies of Kottler's biography, curriculum vitae, a 1948 year book from Cleveland Heights High School, diplomas and awards, and a 1988 calendar with notations by Kottler; correspondence with friends, family, and associates, including Arna Goffe, Gwen-Li Goo, Lauren Grossman, Judith Schwartz, Patti Warashina and others; writings including Kottler's doctoral dissertation, "An Exhibition of Pottery in Support of Three Processes in Ceramics"; artist, institutional, and teaching files consisting of the University of Washington, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, and the Garth Clark Gallery as well as inventory lists, sales records, banking records, digital documents and correspondence relating to the establishment and business conduct of the Howard Kottler Charitable Trust; photographs, digital photographs, slides and negatives of Kottler and his work; audiovisual material including 27 audio cassettes of interviews with Kottler, circa 1988-1989, by Patricia Failing who wrote the book "Howard Kottler: Face to Face", Univ. of Washington, 1995, 35 mm reel stills of Kottler's "American Gothic", 1/4 in. sound recording labeled Exp 1 first; and few unidentified beta, VHS and cassette tapes; and printed material consisting of comic books, newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, posters and craft periodicals featuring Kottler.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Howard Kottler papers measure 11.6 linear feet and 0.014 GB and date from circa 1907-2006. Included are biographical materials consisting of copies of Kottler's biography, curriculum vitae, a 1948 year book from Cleveland Heights High School, diplomas and awards, and a 1988 calendar with notations by Kottler; correspondence with friends, family, and associates, including Arna Goffe, Gwen-Li Goo, Lauren Grossman, Judith Schwartz, Patti Warashina and others; writings including Kottler's doctoral dissertation, "An Exhibition of Pottery in Support of Three Processes in Ceramics"; artist, institutional, and teaching files consisting of the University of Washington, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, and the Garth Clark Gallery as well as inventory lists, sales records, banking records, digital documents and correspondence relating to the establishment and business conduct of the Howard Kottler Charitable Trust; photographs, digital photographs, slides and negatives of Kottler and his work; audiovisual material including 27 audio cassettes of interviews with Kottler, circa 1988-1989, by Patricia Failing who wrote the book "Howard Kottler: Face to Face", Univ. of Washington, 1995, 35 mm reel stills of Kottler's "American Gothic", 1/4 in. sound recording labeled Exp 1 first; and few unidentified beta, VHS and cassette tapes; and printed material consisting of comic books, newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, posters and craft periodicals featuring Kottler. There is a 0.4 linear foot addition to the collections donated 2020 that includes a file on Kottler in conjunction with research conducted by Patrica Failing. Also included are two VHS videocassette tapes "Howard Kottler interview by KCTS-TV," undated.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into nine series
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1907-1989 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1972-2000 (2.0 linear feet; Boxes 1-3, 0.001 GB; ER01)
  • Series 3: Writing, 1964-1994 (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)
  • Series 4: Printed Material, 1954-2004 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)
  • Series 5: Professional Activity Files, 1955-2005 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)
  • Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1974-2006 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)
  • Series 7: Photographs, 1920-2004 (4.1 linear feet; Boxes 6-10, 0.013 GB; ER02-ER03)
  • Series 8: Sound and Video Recordings, circa 1980-1992 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 10-13)
  • Series 9: Unidentified Recordings (0.1 linear feet; Box 10)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Howard Kottler (1930-1989) was a ceramicist in Seattle, Washington, and he taught at the University of Washington. He is best known for his multiple series of decal plates that rejected traditional studio ceramic practices that emphasized and valued hand-made objects, and focusing instead on mass-produced store-bought plates and commercial decals to create pieces decorated with appropriated images from popular culture to convey his political, social, and personal messages. Kottler earned a Masters of Art in Ceramics from Ohio State University in 1956 and a PhD in ceramics from the same institution in 1964.

Administration
Author
Ricky Gomez
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Howard Kottler papers were donated in multiple accessions. In 2006, the initial donation was made by Wendy Goffe, executor for the Kottler estate. Judith Schwartz, trustee of the Howard Kottler estate, made the second donation in 2019 and Ben Goffe donated additional material in 2020.
Processing Information
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Ricky Gomez in 2019-2020. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2020 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Terms of Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Preferred Citation
Howard Kottler papers, 1907-2006. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

More Information

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ceramicists -- Washington (State) -- Seattle Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- Washington (State) -- Seattle Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Washington Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/