The papers of ceramicist and sculptor Patti Warashina (b. 1940) date from circa 1900 and 1957 through 1991, bulk 1970-1989. The collection consists of 4.8 linear feet of correspondence and printed material reflecting the many ceramic and craft exhibitions and other projects Warashina participated in throughout the United States, and her associations with other ceramicists. Also included are biographical documents, writings, art works, several photographs, and a video.
Scope and Content Note:
The Patti Warashina papers measure 4.8 linear feet and date from circa 1900 and 1957 through 1991 (bulk 1970-1989). The collection documents the artistic and teaching career of Seattle-based sculptor and ceramicist Patti Warashina predominantly through correspondence and printed material reflecting the many ceramic and craft exhibitions and other projects Warashina participated in throughout the United States, and her associations with other ceramicists. Also included are biographical documents, writings, art works, several photographs, and a video.
Biographical material includes family trees, diplomas, awards, and documents relating to Warashina's family Japanese internment during WWII. Correspondence, 1968-1991, relating to exhibitions and other projects, is with galleries, museums, purchasers, publishers, and others, among them the Lee Nordness Gallery (N.Y.), Morgan Gallery (Kansas City), and Theo Portney Gallery (Seattle). Additional correspondence files contain letters received, 1977-1990, many addressed to Warashina and her husband Bob (Robert Sperry), from friends, colleagues, former students and family members, including Nancy Carmen, Anne Currier, Deborah Horrell, Matthew Kangas, Howard Kottler, Marvin Lipofsky, Michael Lucero, and others.
Ten photographs, circa 1900-1944, are portraits of Warashina's relatives and family, and several snapshots, circa 1970s, are of former students and works of art. Printed material, 1961-1990, includes newspaper and magazine clippings, programs, journals, newsletters, exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, and workshop announcements for Warashina's various sculpture and ceramic lectures. Writings include both published and unpublished works by Warashina, including an artist's statement for a possible lecture at the 1986 conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Also found here are handwritten notes on a panel discussion titled Cultural and Racial Heritage: Sources and Imagery in which Warashina was a participant along with artists Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, María Brito Avellana, and Indira Johnson. Art work consists of blue line drawings for her sculpture "Red Earth," 1986 as well as a pen and ink sketch of Warashina by an unidentified artist. A videocassette, 1987, is of the television program "The Big A: Different Ways of Seeing", in which Warashina appears briefly.
The Patti Warashina papers are arranged as seven series based primarily on type of material. The correspondence in Series 2 is arranged chronologically for exhibitions and projects and general letters received. Additional letters received are arranged by name of author.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1974-1991, undated (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1957, 1967-1991, undated (Boxes 1-3; 2.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Photographs, circa 1900- circa 1959, 1971, undated (Box 3; 3 folders)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1961-1990, undated (Boxes 3-6, OV 7; 2.0 linear feet)
Series 5: Writings and Notes, 1984, 1986, 1989, undated (Box 6; 4 folders)
Series 6: Artwork, 1986, undated (Box 6; 2 folders)
Series 7: Miscellany, 1987, undated (Box 6; 2 folders)
Ceramicist and sculptor Patti Warashina was born in 1940 as Masae Patricia Warashina in Spokane, Washington to third generation Japanese emigrants. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, where she studied with sculptors Robert Sperry, Harold Myers, Rudy Autio, Shoji Hamada, Shinsaku Hamada, and Ruth Penington. She received her first solo exhibition in 1962 at the Phoenix Art Gallery in Seattle the same year she graduated with an M.F.A. from the University of Washington. Warashina later married fellow student Fred Bauer and from 1964 to 1970 exhibited as Patti Bauer.
Influences in Warashina's art include California funk and sculptural ceramics. Her work is best known for its whimsical themes expressed through low-fire highly colored figurative images. Together with fellow artists Robert Sperry, Howard Kottler and Fred Bauer, she brought national recognition to the department of ceramics at the University of Washington's School of Art beginning in the 1980s.
Patti Warashina is a recipient of several awards for achievements in the field of crafts, most recently the Twining Humber Award granted by Seattle's Artists Trust in 2002. She received the Governor's Award of Special Commendation for the Arts in 1980 in addition to grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in both 1975 and 1986. In 1978, Warashina was awarded a World Craft Council Travel Grant which allowed her to conduct research on the ceramic arts process in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Bali and the Philippines. Warashina's teaching career spans over 30 years and includes positions at the University of Wisconsin, Eastern Michigan University, and at her alma mater where she has taught for over 25 years. Her work is featured in several museum collections in both the U.S. and abroad including the American Craft Museum in New York, the Seattle Art Museum and Henry Art Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery (Washington, DC), the Art Gallery of Western Australia, and the Ichon World Ceramic Center in Korea. Since her marriage to ceramicist Robert Sperry in 1976, she has used Patti Warashina as her professional name. Patti Warashina is a resident of Seattle, Washington.
The Patti Warashina papers were donated by the artist to the Archives of American Art in 1991.
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
The Patti Warashina papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Women sculptors -- Washington (State) -- Seattle Search this
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The papers of ceramicist Robert Sperry measure 13.6 linear feet and 0.907 GB and date from 1951-2002. The collection documents Sperry's career as an artist, teacher, and filmmaker through biographical information, correspondence, exhibition files, gallery files, material on projects and workshops, writings, a scrapbook, financial files, printed and digital material, photographs, moving image materials, and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of ceramicist Robert Sperry measure 13.6 linear feet and 0.907 GB and date from 1951-2002. The collection documents Sperry's career as an artist and teacher through biographical information, correspondence, exhibition files, gallery files, material on projects and workshops, writings, a scrapbook, financial files, printed and digital material, photographs, video recordings, films, and artwork.
Biographical files contain items outlining Sperry's career including resumes, teaching evaluations, awards, and interviews. Correspondence includes general correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, schools, galleries, art organizations, and publications as well as named files for those with whom Sperry exchanged a significant amount of correspondence over a long period of time. The Exhibition Files contain materials on group and solo exhibitions Robert Sperry participated in, while Gallery Files hold material, such as correspondence and contracts, related to the galleries which exhibited Sperry's work primarily after 1979. The Project and Workshop Files in Series 5 contain material related to public commissions he completed and workshops he gave during the 1980s and 1990s.
Writings encompass writings by Sperry and others. Sperry's writings vary greatly and include drafts of articles, a family history, poetry, notes and a screenplay, while writings by others are primarily essays on art. Within this series Sperry's event calendars are also found. Sperry compiled a scrapbook which spans 1955 to 1964 and includes correspondence and printed material about exhibitions and newspaper clippings which feature his artwork. He and his wife, Patti Warashina, also compiled Financial Records primarily of their business and living expenses from 1976 to 1984 and earnings as artists and professors at the University of Washington.
The largest series in this collection, Printed Material, provides information largely on Sperry's career through press clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, and publications, and also includes other materials on ceramics in general. The Photographs series contains both photos and negatives from Sperry's trip to Japan to film "Village Potters of Onda" as well as photographs of his artwork and his family. Also found in this collection are a few sketches and drawings by Sperry and one drawing by Patti Warashina. Moving image material includes video recordings and motion picture film with a wide range of content, including documentaries about Sperry, studio footage, and experimental and narrative films created by Sperry in a range of styles and genres, including animation such as the animated film "Henry," hand colored film, live action footage, abstract design, and narrative short films by Sperry. There are digital research copies of some of the films.
The Robert Sperry papers are arranged as thirteen series, according to type of material. Each series is arranged either in rough chronological or alphabetical order.
Series 1: Biographical Files, 1954-circa 2000, undated (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence Files, 1951-2000, undated (Boxes 1-2; 0.9 linear feet)
Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1963-1999, undated (Boxes 2-3; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 4: Gallery Files, 1960-2000, undated (Boxes 3-4; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 5: Project and Workshop Files, 1967-1996, undated (Box 4; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 6: Writings, 1966-1990, undated (Box 5; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 7: Scrapbook, 1955-1964 (Box 5; 8 folders)
Series 8: Financial Records, 1961-1995, undated (Boxes 5-6; 1.0 linear feet)
Series 9: Miscellaneous Subject Files, 1975-1998, undated (Box 6; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 10: Printed Material, 1955-2002, undated (Boxes 6-10; 3.4 linear feet)
Series 11: Photographs, 1963, undated (Box 10; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 12: Sketches and Drawings, 1984, undated (Box 10; 2 folders)
Series 13: Moving Image Material, circa 1962-1998, undated (Boxes 10-12, FC 13-18; 3.1 linear feet, ER01; 0.907 GB)
Robert Sperry was born in Bushnell, Illinois, in 1927. He grew up on his family's farm in Druid, Saskatchewan, Canada, and in 1945 was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he first developed an interest in art. After serving in the military, he returned home and completed his B.A. at the University of Saskatchewan in 1950 and a B.F.A. at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953. While working on his B.A. he met and married Edyth MacDonald and they had one child, Van, in 1950. Sperry spent one summer as Artist in Residence at the Archie Bray Foundation, in Helena, Montana, and then moved his family to Seattle so that he could complete his M.F.A. at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1955 he stayed at the University and became a professor, teaching ceramics until retiring in 1982. During this time, Sperry widely exhibited his clay vessels in both group and solo exhibitions and was active in the American Craft Council.
When not teaching, Robert Sperry pursued his interest in photography and filmmaking and, in 1963, traveled to Japan to make "Village Potters of Onda," a project that included a documentary film and a collection of black and white photographs. Sperry continued experimenting with film and, in 1967, created a fictional film entitled, "Profiles Cast Long Shadows," which was shown at film festivals throughout the United States. After abandoning another film project in 1970 while going through a divorce, he returned to ceramics as his focus. During the 1970s Sperry developed his techniques, modifying glazes and moving away from the vessel shape. In 1976 Sperry married Patti Warashina, fellow ceramicist and professor at the University of Washington. He began producing murals, which led to several public commissions such as a mural for the IBM Field Engineering Educational Center in Atlanta, created in 1983. Robert Sperry: A Retrospective, was exhibited in 1985-1986 at the Bellevue Art Museum, however, Sperry would continue producing and exhibiting new work, and giving lectures and workshops for thirteen more years, until his death in 1998.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the Patti Warashina papers, circa 1900-1991. An online finding aid is available.
The Robert Sperry papers were donated by Sperry's wife Patti Warashina in 2003 and 2004.
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
The Robert Sperry papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.