Oral history interview with Wayne Higby, 2005 April 12-14
Higby, Wayne, 1943-
Cushing, Val M.
McKinnell, Nan B. (Nan Bangs)
Merritt, Francis Sumner
Motherwell, Robert Burns
Soldner, Paul Edmund
Turner, Robert Chapman
Archie Bray Foundation
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
Helen Drutt Gallery
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Rhode Island School of Design
University of Colorado (Boulder campus)
University of Michigan
University of Nebraska
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Transcript: 66 pages
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 55 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Use requires an appointment.
An interview of Wayne Higby conducted 2005 April 12-14, by Mary McInnes, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Alfred Station, New York. Higby speaks of growing up in Colorado Springs, Colorado; choosing to go to University of Colorado, Boulder; traveling to Europe, Asia, and Africa; being influenced by Minoan pottery; working for ceramicist Betty Woodman; deciding to become a teacher; getting a graduate degree at the University of Michigan; working at Archie Bray Foundation; teaching at the University of Nebraska and Rhode Island School of Design; having his first one person art show and exhibiting nationally; teaching at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; the influence of landscape on his work; how the craft market has changed during his career; working with the Helen Drutt Gallery; writing about craft and the need for critical dialogue in craft publications; being inspired by Asian art; learning ceramics from Jim and Nan McKinnell, and the influence of other teachers on his career; getting hired at Alfred University; the challenges and benefits of teaching at Alfred; his colleagues at Alfred; making functional art and using the vessel form; his teaching philosophy; putting ceramics in a larger art context; his current project; his studio practice; themes in his artwork; choosing to work in porcelain; lecturing and touring in China; being interested in landscape painting; the public response to his work; and recently being awarded several honors. Higby also recalls Manuel Neri, Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, Fred Bauer, David Shaner, Francis Merritt, Ted Randall, Bob Turner, Val Cushing, Kenneth Ferguson, Robert Motherwell, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Wayne Higby, 2005 April 12-14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Wayne Higby (1943- ) is a ceramicist from Alfred Station, N.Y. Mary McInnes is a professor from Alfred, N.Y.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001