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The Potter's Wheel Collection, 1904-1907

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Identifier: A1621

Title: The Potter's Wheel Collection, 1904-1907


The Potters were a group of St. Louis women artists and writers who issued a monthly magazine called The Potter's Wheel from 1904-1907. Only one copy of the magazine was hand-lettered and hand-illustrated by the Potters. The Potter's Wheel contained a variety of artistic output, including poetry and prose, photographs, calligraphy artwork, needlework and the like. The Potters were all young women in their late teens and early twenties and members included poet Sara Teasdale, artists Caroline Risque and Petronelle Sombart, photographers Grace and Williamina Parrish, and writers Vine Colby, Inez Dutro, Celia Harris, Edna Wahlert and Guida Richey. Their mentor, Lillie Rose Ernst, was a botany teacher at Central High School and later an administrator with the St. Louis Public School System. She alternately encouraged and challenged them. The Potters went their various way after 1907, some of them to marry, others for further study or to actively pursue careers in distant places.

The collection contains fifteen issues of The Potter's Wheel. The issues contain poems, short stories, watercolor prints, photographs--mostly portraits, various hand-painted designs, plays, fabric covered designs, and photographs of sculptures. Also in the collection; four criticism notebooks that accompanied each issue in which the girls critiqued each others work; Christmas party book, consisting of paintings and photographs of the girls, completed for Lillie Rose Ernst; tiny notebook describing each of the Potter's personality characteristics, dedicated to L.R. Ernst; five booklets in published form with poems (one with photo portraits of the girls) from The Potter's Wheel, 1910; play title The Soul's Inheritance by George Cabot Lodge; play titled Whitsuntide, Ye Comets Tail by Will [Williamina] Parrish and Vine Colby, 1908; and play titled The Pursuit of the Ideal, 1908.

Finding aid available.

4 boxes; 18 volumes

Cite as: The Potter’s Wheel Collection, Missouri History Museum Archives, St. Louis.

Rights: UND


Dates: 1904-1907

Type(s): Documentary Artifacts




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