Scope and Contents
The papers of New Jersey-based ceramicist Toshiko Takaezu measure 24.4 linear feet and 12.65 gigabytes and date from circa 1925 to circa 2010. The papers document Takaezu's career as an educator and ceramicist in Hawaii and Quakertown, New Jersey, through biographical material, correspondence, interviews, documentaries, artist files, organization files, personal business records, studio practice files, printed material, and photographic material.
Biographical materials include Toshiko Takaezu's biographical summaries, resumes, awards, engagement calendars, honorary degrees, business cards, and other miscellany. There are also some writings by others about Takaezu and writings by her students on various subjects.
The correspondence series consists of personal and professional correspondence with friends, family, and other artists. Noteworthy correspondents include Dan Anderson, Olen Bryant, Maryette Charlton, Maija Grotell, Ivabell Harlan, Joseph Hurley, Nobuko Ise, Ernestine Kozuma, Isamu Noguchi, Hideo Okino, Alice Parrott, Carol and Francois Rigolot, Ann Shaner, Brooke Shields, Gladys Sonomura, Barbara Tiso, Carol and Katsunari Toyoda, and Lois Wittich. There is also a great deal of correspondence with Toshiko Takaezu's siblings and mother. Also included are Takaezu's letter drafts, letters of recommendations for students, greeting cards, and correspondence related to exhibitions.
Interviews and documentaries include a wide variety of audiovisual formats from videocassettes to sound cassettes, 16mm film reels, U-matic tapes, and born digital recordings, along with transcripts. The transcripts and recordings feature Takaezu's artwork, exhibitions, workshops, and award ceremonies, but they are mostly interviews. A few recordings are about other artists or ceramics in general.
Artist files include biographical information, resumes, limited correspondence, clippings, exhibition catalogs, slides and photographs on various artists. There is also a small amount of artwork by various artists in the form of sketches, etchings, prints, and watercolors.
Organization files document Toshiko Takaezu's long relationship with various museums, galleries, universities, colleges, art schools, and other institutions across the country and in Japan. The series contains a mixture of exhibition files, project files, teaching files, and gallery records. These records document exhibitions, workshops, commissions, conferences, fellowships, and donations of artwork. The Princeton University, where Toshiko Takaezu taught for over two decades, are especially noteworthy.
Personal business records consist of documents related to Toshiko Takaezu's financial and legal affairs. There are art appraisals, contracts and invoices, inventories of artwork on Takaezu's property, price lists, shipping and transportation records, ceramic restoration reports, deeds for various properties, and other material.
Studio practice files include information on kiln construction and other equipment. There are manuals, designs, contracts, instructions, regulations, and printed material related to looms, stoves, kilns, septic tanks, oil tanks, and wells for Toshiko Takaezu's New Jersey home and studio. Other miscellaneous materials include art supplies receipts, guest books, and writings by others on the subject of pottery.
Most of the printed material is about Toshiko Takaezu, but there are a few folders on other artists and subjects, such as mycology and mushroom gathering, that interested her. Printed material consists of books, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, magazines, books, and posters, etc.
Photographic material includes photographs of Toshiko Takaezu in her studio, teaching workshops, and attending various events. There are many photographs of Takaezu's artwork as well as exhibition installations and opening receptions. There are a few photographs of artists such as Lenore Tawney and Lee Nordness. Most of the series consists of photographs and snapshots, but there are some slides and transparencies as well. This series also includes born digital photographs.