Art Museum will host the exhibition Malcolm Davis | Electronic News


“From the Mountain: Malcolm Davis and the Art of Shino” will open at the Art Museum of West Virginia University from January 22 through May 15 at the McGee Gallery.

Featuring more than 70 objects on loan from private collections, this exhibition celebrates Davis’ artistic commitment to beauty and function through a diversity of forms designed for everyday use.

Born in Virginia, Davis earned a degree in mathematics from the College of William and Mary in 1959, followed by a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1964. As an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Davis served as ecumenical campus chaplain at George Washington University from 1967 to 1984, where he became a leader in the peace and civil rights movements of the day. He organized bus caravans and sit-ins, led voter registration drives, and in 1968 helped organize the Poor People’s Campaign and its accompanying Resurrection City in Washington, DC.

But it wasn’t until Davis discovered his great love and affinity for creating ceramic vessels that he felt he had found his calling. In 1985 Davis established his mountaintop studio near Tallmansville, West Virginia, where he created his finest works when he was not traveling across the United States, Canada and Europe. , teaching workshops and sharing his unique icing.

During her residency at Baltimore Clayworks, Davis began experimenting with Shino, a Japanese-style glaze. Over the years, he perfected his technique and recipe, creating pottery that lacked Shino’s usual milky white glaze, and instead boasted a variety of colors and drama trapped in red carbon, salmon, orange and black on each piece.

“Malcolm’s Shino” was a groundbreaking development in Shino’s 16th century origin. True to his generous nature, Davis unveiled it to the world, rather than keeping the recipe to himself. It is now used in clay studios in the United States and Europe.

“People were saying Malcolm was larger than life,” said Judith Davis, Malcolm’s partner and wife of 50 years. “He loved teaching, people and traveling. He was inquisitive, generous, and one of the most important ceramic artists to ever reside in West Virginia during the late 20th and early 21st centuries – and a major contributor to the international ceramic world.

WVU is also home to the Malcolm Davis Living Legacy Fund for Ceramics, which supports a graduate assistant position to study Davis’ work, test and catalog glaze recipes, prepare online resources, and publish a retrospective tribute to Malcolm Davis.

“There’s no better place than the art museum to celebrate Malcolm Davis,” said museum director Todd J. Tubutis. , internationally renowned ceramist to our audience this spring.

The WVU Art Museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is always free. Find more information about the museum.

The museum is following all COVID-19 safety protocols established by WVU for all of its campuses. Visit for current information.


Comments are closed.