The Mad Potter of Biloxi Finds a Home
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Those of you who follow my Twitter handle know that I spend a lot of time in the South for work. It's not an area I knew very well before this job, but I'm always amazed about the little-known corners that I come across and find so lovely and inspiring.
Case in point: The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi, a brand-new art museum on the Mississippi coast that just happens to be the only Frank Gehry-designed structure in the area. It won't be fully completed until 2012, but much of the museum is already open and it's truly fantastic.
The museum is named after (and houses the work of, among other artists) ceramicist George E. Ohr, above, aka "the mad potter of Biloxi," (isn't his style fantastic?) whose inventive, contemporary pieces were only somewhat appreciated in his time but have come to be recognized as pioneering after his 1917 death. Gehry's swirling mix of metals and old-fashioned Southern brick mix with the aging elm trees on the property to create an unexpected visual retreat. I spent a few hours poking around the place recently, and left feeling excited and inspired. Here are some snaps I took — but they hardly do it justice. I'd say it's a must-stop if you're in the area, especially after it's fully finished next year.
The admission stickers (mustache!):
An installation by artist Jun Kaneko:
The "pods", still under construction, which will eventually be mini-galleries within a glass atrium: