For week 16 of our Kansas sesquicentennial series, we’re focusing on ceramist Ken Ferguson (1938-2004), former Professor and Chair of the ceramics department at Kansas City Art Institute for over thirty years.
“In 1981 Ferguson was voted one of the twelve greatest living potters in a readers’ survey by Ceramics Monthly magazine. His students included many successful contemporary ceramists including Richard Notkin” , our juror for this year’s Topeka Competition 30. “As a graduate student at Alfred University, resident potter and studio manager at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, and through years of teaching, Ferguson mastered the craft of functional pottery, developing formidable skills on the wheel and in handling glazes that integrally informed his work.”  He is also included in PBS’ Craft in America series (Season 1 and Season 2 are available for check-out here at TSCPL).
Every object has a story, and stories build history. To celebrate 150 years of Kansas statehood we’re featuring 52 objects (or collections of related objects)—something new each week throughout the year—from the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s 130-year-old special, and permanent collections, that represent our collective state history and cultural diversity.
Our collections are available for teachers, students, researchers and general interest, and we hope this online video program will provide insight into what’s so “special” about Special Collections. Your library’s commitment to collecting art and preserving local history makes it possible for users today and in the future to have immediate access to invaluable research material and cultural artifacts.
To make an appointment to see work by Ken Ferguson, or get help finding books and videos related to him and his work, call or stop by the Sabatini Gallery (785-580-4515). We’re located on your right just beyond the Library rotunda entrance.