Bridgewater College presents ‘A Potter’s Progress’ exhibit

Bridgewater CollegeBridgewater College Special Collections and the Margaret Grattan Weaver Institute for Regional Culture will exhibit “A Potter’s Progress: Emanuel Suter and the Business of Craft,” a showcase of historic regional pottery and copies of associated historic records, from Sept. 6 through Oct. 8 on the lower level of the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons on the College’s campus.

The exhibit is open from 7:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to midnight on Sunday.

The exhibit is curated by Dr. Scott H. Suter, professor of English and American Studies and Director of the Margaret Grattan Weaver Institute for Regional Culture, with Stephanie S. Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Tiffany Goodman ’20 and Meghann Burgess ’23. Lenders to the exhibit include the Reuel B. Pritchett Museum Collection at Bridgewater College, Scott Suter, Stanley H. Suter and the Virginia Mennonite Conference Archives.

Inspired by Scott Suter’s recent book, also titled A Potter’s Progress: Emanuel Suter and the Business of Craft, the exhibit features examples of Emanuel Suter’s wares—both stoneware and earthenware—from the two pottery businesses that he operated in his lifetime. In addition to Emanuel Suter’s wares, the exhibit includes pieces by two other potters with whom he was associated: John D. Heatwole and Isaac Good. The range of examples reflects individual craftmanship as well as regional expectations for utilitarian objects.

“‘A Potter’s Progress’ is one of the first exhibits in the newly renovated Special Collections space, and we are happy to collaborate and showcase regional pottery,” Gardner said. “It is especially exciting to feature Emanuel Suter’s beautiful earthenware communion bowl, made around 1868 for Bridgewater’s Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren, in the exhibition. Lottie Thomas donated the bowl to the Reuel B. Pritchett Museum in 1988.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public. In keeping with guidance from the CDC, Bridgewater College requires that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, properly wear face masks when indoors in public areas of campus.

At a glance

What: A showcase of historic regional pottery and copies of associated historic records from Emanuel Suter, John D. Heatwole and Isaac Good.
When: On display now through Oct. 8
Where: Lower level of the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons
Hours: The exhibit is open from 7:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to midnight on Sunday


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