Talking Jars: David Drake, Antebellum Potter-Poet

John A. Burrison (Georgia State University)

David Drake (1801-ca. 1875) is now renowned as one of America’s most extraordinary historic folk potters. Until the 1980s, however, little was known about this enslaved African American artisan who achieved a degree of freedom through his craft. He has since become the subject of museum exhibitions, a book-length biography, and a book of essays about his pot-poetry. This presentation will substantially update what’s known about Dave (as he signed his pots), placing him in the context of his equally remarkable antebellum pottery-making community, South Carolina’s Edgefield District.

Part of 09-01 Perspectives on Material Culture [hybrid], Saturday, October 15, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm