The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University are excited to announce a major exhibition of American art pottery and crafts, Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise. One of the most significant American art potteries of the twentieth century, Newcomb works are a graceful union of form and decoration inspired by the flora and fauna of the Gulf South. Each piece is one of a kind—and collectively they create a distinctive southern art form.

In 1895, the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, Tulane University’s women’s coordinate college, established the Newcomb Pottery in New Orleans, and conceived it as part artist collective, part social experiment, and part business enterprise initiative under the auspices of an educational program. The art school faculty incorporated the philosophies and tenets of the English Arts and Crafts movement into their curriculum to teach Southern women self-reliance by way of an education and gain financial independence through the sale of their wares. The Pottery thrived until 1940.

Today these remarkable, distinctive art objects continue to be critically acclaimed and highly sought-after, and the Newcomb program is a rich mine for academic research. Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise showcases a striking collection of Newcomb pottery, metalwork, bookbinding, and textiles with text that draws from new scholarship to explore the history of the Pottery and its importance as a social and artistic experiment.

 Why book this exhibition?

  • Complete exhibition package, including contents, shipping, and advanced educational/promotional materials
  • Never-before-traveled works of art
  • Diversity of objects, from pottery to jewelry, textiles, and metalwork
  • New scholarship about the Newcomb Pottery enterprise

This exhibition is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.

Exhibition specifications

Contents Approximately 180 objects, including pottery, metalwork, jewelry, textiles, and bookbinding; text panels and labels
Participation Fee $50,000, per 12-week booking period (fee includes shipping)
Size Approximately 3,000-3,500 square feet
Crates 16
Category Art
Security High
SITES Contacts Marquette Folley, 202.633.3111 (Content/design)
Minnie Russell
, 202.633.3160 (Scheduling)
Tour Through November 2016 - FULLY BOOKED


Tour itinerary

Dates   Host Institution Status
10/03/2013- 03/09/2014 Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA Booked
05/17/2014- 08/31/2014 Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA Booked
09/20/2014- 01/04/2015 Stark Museum of Art, Orange, TX Booked
02/03/2015- 05/17/2015 Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Booked
06/12/2015- 08/30/2015 The Wolfsonian, Florida International University, Miami, FL Booked
10/09/2015- 01/03/2016 The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, FL Booked
01/23/2016- 04/17/2016 Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI Booked
05/07/2016- 07/10/2016 Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ


07/30/2016- 11/06/2016 Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN Booked

Related publications

Women, Art, and Social Change:
The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise
, exhibition brochure.

The Arts and Crafts of Newcomb Pottery by Sally Main, Adrienne Spinozzi, David Conradsen, Martin Eidelberg, Kevin W. Tucker, and Ellen Paul Denke, 2013.
340 pages; Hardcover

Press release

March 27, 2014

Media only: Andrew Holik;
Media website:

Tulane and Smithsonian partner for National Tour of Newcomb Pottery

Newcomb Pottery is considered one of the most significant collections of American art pottery of the 20th century, with each piece critically acclaimed and highly coveted. The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service has partnered with Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University to present the largest, most comprehensive Newcomb Pottery collection to tour the country in nearly three decades. Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise, will be on display at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Georgia, May 17 through August 31, 2014, before continuing on a nine-city national tour through 2016.

The exhibition, which initially debuted at Newcomb Art Gallery in 2013 in New Orleans before launching the national tour, features more than 125 objects – the iconic pottery as well as lesser known textiles, metalwork, jewelry, bookbinding and historical artifacts.

Women, Art, and Social Change brings together a variety of objects created during the lifespan of the Newcomb enterprise,” said Sally Main, curator of the Newcomb Art Gallery. “The finest examples of the pottery art form will be displayed alongside pieces that will come as a revelation to many – not only a rich variety of crafts but also photos and artifacts that breathe life into the Newcomb legacy.”

Newcomb Pottery was established in 1895 as an educational experiment of H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, Tulane University’s former women’s college. The quasi-commercial venture offered an opportunity for Southern women to support themselves financially during and after their training as artists. Inspired by the flora and fauna of the Gulf South, the pieces offer insight into the extraordinary women who made a lasting impression on American art and industry.

Representing 45 years of achievement in decorative arts from 1895 to 1940, the exhibit is supported by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, which were matched by supporters of Newcomb Art Gallery.

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for nearly 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.      

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» Exhibition Specs

» Tour Itinerary

» Related Publications

» Exhibition Prospectus

» Press Release

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William H. Johnson: An American Modern (Archives)

Freedom's Sisters (Archives)

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