Michelle Erickson

Tradition & Modernity
November 12, 2010 – January 9, 2011

Tradition and Modernity: The Ceramic Art of Michelle Erickson exhibited the internationally recognized artist’s work, which tackled decidedly 21st century issues of war, child slavery and political hegemony through pointedly historical techniques, drawing upon centuries of history and tradition. From Erickson’s perspective, history is now and, far from being on a linear trajectory towards modernity, we live in a world very much embedded in the past.

A graduate of The College of William and Mary, Erickson has more than 20 years experience working with 17th- and 18th-century reproduction pottery. Her exquisite re-creations and contemporary pieces have won critical acclaim internationally and have been featured in many national and international publications. A partner in Yorktown’s Period Designs, Erickson reproduces ceramics from archeological and acquired collections for organizations such as Colonial Williamsburg, National Park Service and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

Erickson has intensively studied the technology and history behind the ceramics used by the American colonists. She has rediscovered lost techniques used in the great ceramic factories of Staffordshire and those in virtually undocumented American potteries, known only through archaeological remains. Her efforts have rewarded her with a toolkit of technical skills representing 300 hundred years of traditions and a loyal following of ceramic collectors.