Poughkeepsie Potters and the Plague

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Folk art has long been a part of the cultural heritage of the Hudson River Valley.The Hudson River school of painting traces its roots to the valley, as does a uniquedecorative style of stoneware—preserve pots and jugs with scenes of birds, flowers, andanimals that were part of the potter's life. While the Hudson River paintings, usuallycommissioned by wealthy landowners, have achieved universal acclaim, the utilitarianstoneware, owned by even the least successful merchants and farmers, has been widelycollected but little understood.Poughkeepsie Potters and the Plague makes an important contribution toward anunderstanding of the stoneware tradition of the Hudson Valley. Based on years ofresearch, it uncovers for the first time the significance of early stoneware productionat Poughkeepsie and outlines its one-hundred-year history. Astonishingly, its earlybeginnings may be attributed to a series of yellow-fever epidemics that struck NewYork City during the 1795–1805 period. These epidemics forced a migration ofpeople away from the beleaguered city to places such as Poughkeepsie. PoughkeepsiePotters and the Plague began with a dated butter pot that was made by the firststoneware potters of Poughkeepsie as a tribute to the epidemic victims of New YorkCity in 1798—a single piece of pottery transcending time and location to bring tolife the historical triumph of the enduring human spirit.
ISBN: 9780738508719
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: New York
Series: Images of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Author George Lukacs has collected, researched, and studied Hudson Valley stoneware for more than fifteen years. In Poughkeepsie Potters and the Plague, he combines his knowledge and skill in identifying significant artifacts and his dedicated pursuit of history with a stunning collection of nearly two hundred photographs and illustrations. The owner of an antiques business, he displays each August products manufactured in Dutchess County at the Dutchess County Fair, where he and fellow members of the Century Museum Village & Collectors Association present living history demonstrations, which are viewed and appreciated by thousands.
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