Betty Feves, Six Figures, raku. Feves Family Collection

Generations: Betty Feves

by namita gupta wiggers

contributions by damara bartlett, daniel duford, jenni sorkin, and linda sussman

selected texts from museum of contemporary craft archives and the feves family archives and website

edited by lisa meyerowitz and john ewing

Produced in conjunction with Generations: Betty Feves.

Betty Whiteman Feves (1918–1985) belongs to a generation of mid-century vanguard artists who set the stage for dynamic shifts in the use of clay in art. Feves’ work and life in art subverts the popular, male-dominated narrative of post–World War II ceramics. Academically trained, Feves studied with Clyfford Still and Alexander Archipenko in the late 1930s, worked in a design studio in New York during World War II, then chose to live, work, and raise her four children in Pendleton, Oregon where she remained for the next 40 years.

This publication contextualizes Feves’ functional and sculptural pieces within the greater arc of her work in her community as a mentor, music educator, and advocate for higher education. It explores her commitment to place expressed in forms inspired by the land and created with locally-sourced materials via a continuing process of relentless experimentation. Feves quickly earned a national and international reputation for her work, establishing new approaches to working with clay which shaped the American Craft Movement and the potential of clay as an expressive medium as we understand it today. Generations: Betty Feves situates an under- recognized regional artist within the overlapping arenas of Modernism, the American Craft Movement, and a practice deeply grounded in the Pacific Northwest.

Generations: Betty Feves Book Cover

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Softcover; 192 pages; full color; 9.5 x 7.5 inches
ISBN: 978-0-9728981-7-1
Published by Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon
Release date: April 11, 2012
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