Oral history interview with Warren MacKenzie

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.macken02
Creators:
MacKenzie, Warren, 1924-2018
Silberman, Robert B. (Robert Bruce), 1950-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2002 October 29
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
44 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Warren MacKenzie conducted 2002 October 29, by Robert Silberman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Stillwater, Minnesota.
Scope and Contents
MacKenzie speaks of his early childhood and eagerness to become a painter; being drafted in 1943; returning from active duty in the Army to find all the painting classes full and registering for a ceramic class; the significance of Bernard Leach's, "A Potter's Book" to his early ceramic education, and fellow classmates; his studies at the Chicago Art Institute; museums in Chicago; his first wife, potter, Alix MacKenzie; traveling to England to receive further training from Leach, first being rejected and then returning a year later to work 2 1/2 years at Leach Pottery at St. Ives; contacts such as Shoji Hamada, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, and others; his lack of interest in sculptural ceramics; the good remnants of Leach pottery pots in his pottery today; Korean and Japanese influences; the International Potters and Weavers Conference in 1952 and returning to the U.S.; Alix's role in arranging Hamada's tour of the U.S. and exhibition in St. Paul; building their first pottery; exhibitions at the Walker Arts Center; purchasing the best Hamada pot at the St. Paul exhibit; teaching at the University of Minnesota; his experiences at craft schools; his involvement with NCECA [National Council on Education in Ceramic Art] and the Minnesota Craft Council; his travels; the self-service showroom on his property; changes in the field of ceramics; the 1968 fire that destroyed his barn studio; his working process; his experience with a salt kiln; experimenting in each firing; and his monthly work schedule. MacKenzie also recalls Kathleen Blackshear, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Soetsu Yanagi, Jerry Liebling, Allen Downs, Walter Quirt, Phil Morton, Curt Heuer, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Josef Albers, Kenneth Ferguson, Rudy Autio, Peter Voulkos, Tatsuzo Shimaoka, David Lewis, Michael Cardew, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Warren MacKenzie (1924-2018) was a ceramist from Stillwater, Minnesota.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript available online.
Author
Sponsor
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 33 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ceramicists -- Minnesota -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramics. -- Economic aspects Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramics -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramics -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramics -- Japan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Decorative arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leach, Bernard, 1887- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hamada, Shōji, 1894-1978 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
MacKenzie, Alixandra Kolesky, d. 1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Institute of Chicago -- Student Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Minnesota -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America 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/