The collection contains materials related to Louise Cort's book "Shigaraki: Potters' Valley" (1979, 2000), concerning ceramics manufactured in the Shigaraki area of Japan. Primarily research-related, the collection includes her dissertation, research notes, index card files, originals and copies of source materials, drawings/sketches, and photographic materials (primarily black and white, some color; formats include prints, contact sheets, and negatives). Also included are post-publication materials, including royalty statements and related correspondence, clippings of reviews, correspondence, and other materials related to Cort's ongoing interest in Shigaraki.
Biographical / Historical:
Louise Allison Cort was born in 1944 in Philidelphia to parents John Shaw Cort Jr. and Mary Yunck Cort. Her interest in Asian ceramics began after traveling to Japan in 1961 as part of the American Field Service's high school exchange student program. She was particularly interested in the everyday wares used by her host mother. While in college, she took an intensive Japanese language course, and she traveled to Tokyo for further language study in graduate school. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Simmons College, with a minor in art history. Cort then received her graduate degree from Oxford University, studying Japanese art history. In March 1968, she traveled to Shigaraki for the first time, inspired by the Shigaraki ceramics she had seen in her visits to Japanese museums. She returned multiple times to research Shigaraki's history, ceramics, and modern life. For over three years (1976-1979), Cort lived in Kyoto while doing research for her book, Shigaraki, Potters' Valley. Later, she traveled to India for a year and a half (1979-1981) to research earthenware, resulting in the book Temple Potters of Puri (2012), coauthored with Purna Chandra Mishra. Those materials are held by the South Asian Institute archives of Heidelberg University, Germany, and film footage is in the Human Studies Film Archive, Smithsonian Institution. The archives of her research on present-day ceramics in mainland Southeast Asia between 1986 and 2018 in collaboration with Leedom Lefferts is held by the Yale University archive.
From 1969 to 1976, she served as Assistant Curator of Oriental Art at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. She then served as an Associate for Research at the Fogg from 1978 to 1981. In 1981, she began her work at the Freer Gallery of Art as a Museum Specialist, serving in that role until 1989. From 1989 to 1994, she was Assistant Curator, and then moved to Associate Curator from 1994 to 1995. Cort then held the position of Curator of Ceramics from 1995 until her retirement in 2018. She remains curator emerita. As a scholar, her interests focused on historic and contemporary Asian ceramics, as well as other craft traditions. She published her first book "Shigaraki, Potters Valley" in 1979. Her book was reprinted in 2000. Cort has published numerous other articles and books relating to Japanese, Southeast Asian, and South Asian art. These include Temple Potters of Puri (with Purna Chandra Mishra) in 2012 and Chigusa and the Art of Tea (with Andrew Watsky) in 2014. She received the Koyama Fujio Memorial Prize and the Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Award in 2012 for her contributions to research on Japanese ceramics.
Related Materials: Leedom Lefferts and Louise Allison Cort Archives:
Lefferts, Leedom and Louise A. Cort. "Leedom Lefferts and Louise Allison Cort Archives." Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. New Haven, CT: Archives at Yale. https://archives.yale.edu/repositories/15/resources/12290#
Louise Allison Cort Collection. National Museum of Asian Art Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
MS 4807 Collections of the United States South Sea Surveying and Exploring Expedition 1838, 9, 40, 41 & 42. By T. R. Peale, U. S. Patent Office, 1846
Peale, Titian R. (Titian Ramsay), 1780-1798 Search this
United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842) Search this
Scope and Contents:
Catalogue of 2516 ethnological specimens, numbered 1-2487.
Some original accession data concerning anthropological specimens collected on the Wilkes Expedition are also included in section C, in the Manuscript volume catalogued in the Smithsonian Institution Library as follows: MSS c Case U58 eori U. S. Exploring Expedition Original invoices and other official papers. Estimated 73 full pages FF. Section C, "Original Invoices of Miscellaneous Specimens" (1839-41) includes "Catalogue of Boxes Barrels &c Shipped on board the American Ship Lausanne [from ?] Oahu," no date, 4 pages and other untitled lists that include some anthropological entries. Also in Section C is a 1-page "List of articles...[belonging to the] Philological Dept." signed by H[oratio ] Hale; these are mostly printed articles, but there is one reference to a Quichua and Moxa grammar, presumably a Manuscript.
Biographical / Historical:
Note on title page states: The collections made by the Exploring Expedition under Capt. Wilkes were brought to Washington and unpacked at the U. S. Patent Office, where they were on exhibition for several years. About 1851 they were transferred to the Smithsonian Building. This catalogue was presented to the Nat. Museum in January 1877 by Mr Peale in person. Accompanying letter of A. H. Clark to [G. B.] Goode, March 24, 1887 transmits catalogue to Goode, stating that it was found "Among the National Institute papers several months ago." Title page refers to catalogue(s) of 134 mammal specimens and 150 ornithological species which are not included in this volume. Note with Smithsonian Institution Library card catalogue entry for a 46 page typescript of this volume states that the original Manuscript catalogs of birds and mammals are in the American Museum of Natural History, and xerox copies of both are in the MNH, Division of Mammals (Dr D. H. Johnson).
NAA MS 4807
Expeditions -- United States South Sea and Exploring Expedition Search this