George Ohr: The Greatest Art Potter on Earth

The definitive and most up-to-date volume on the celebrated Biloxi artist, who was the most revolutionary art potter of his time. Called the Mad Potter of Biloxi, the Apostle of Individuality, and the self-proclaimed Greatest Art Potter on Earth, George Edgar Ohr (1857–1918) transformed wheel-thrown pots into ceramic works that were far ahead of their time. Though the unprecedented shapes and idiosyncratic glazes of Ohr’s creations were ridiculed by some during his lifetime, he was recognized as a genius by cognoscenti, who championed his work. Today, his ceramics are seen as forerunners of the American modernist movement and are prized by collectors and museums. This handsome volume, showcasing some 135 of Ohr’s masterpieces, accompanies a major exhibition at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art that will take place in the John S. and James L. Knight Gallery, four new Frank Gehry–designed, supersized, twisted steel "pod" buildings. All-new photographs of the objects—most never before publicly exhibited—illustrate Ohr’s ability to combine color and form to create vessels of incomparable delicacy. This volume is filled with new research and fresh insights into the life and work of one of America’s most singular and creative master artists.

About The Author

Eugene Hecht, curator of this exhibition, is a noted author and lecturer on George Ohr and American art pottery. He is coauthor of The Mad Potter of Biloxi: The Art and Life of George E. Ohr as well as author of After the Fire—George Ohr: An American Genius. Garth Clark is a widely published critic and historian of ceramics and the founder of the Institute for Ceramic History. Denny Mecham is executive director of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art. David Rago is an appraiser of pottery and porcelain on Antiques Roadshow and a leading dealer in the field of American Arts and Crafts.

  • Publish Date: November 19, 2013
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - Ceramics
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9-3/8 x 10-3/4
  • Pages: 256
  • US Price: $50.00
  • CDN Price: $50.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4117-2


"In 2010, ninety-two years after Ohr died underappreciated, Biloxi opened a museum to him, a $40 million cluster of silver pods overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, its architect the noted Frank Gehry. On display are a selection of Ohr’s impossible pottery—as stout as amphorae yet as light as leaves. But to see a greater range of his widely scattered surviving work you need to look through one of the richly illustrated books about him. George Ohr: The Greatest Art Potter on Earth, by Eugene Hecht, is bursting with vases and pitchers and bowls as individual as rose blooms and as ripply as sea waves."
Garden and Gun