Denise Patry Leidy: Ruth and Bruce Dayton Curator of Asian Art, Yale University Art Gallery
Back-and-Forth: Chinese and Global Clay, 17th – 21st century
Wednesday, October 10, 4:30pm
Nevins Theater Powell Campus Center Alfred University
The Dorothy Wilson Perkins Ceramic History Lecture Series
The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum established the Dorothy Wilson Perkins Ceramic History Lecture Series in 1998, thanks to a generous endowment gift to the Museum by Dr. Lyle Perkins (BFA Alfred ’39; MFA Alfred ’47) in memory of his wife, Dr. Dorothy Wilson Perkins (BFA Alfred ’39).
Denise Patry Leidy, is the Ruth and Bruce Dayton Curator of Asian Art, at Yale University Art Gallery. Leidy received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Gallery, she served as the Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and as curator at the Asia Society and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Denise has curated exhibitions such as Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection (2016), Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom (2013), Red and Black: Chinese Lacquer from the 13th to the 16th Century (2012), and Hidden Treasure of Afghanistan (2009). Her publications include How to Read Chinese Ceramics (2015), Wisdom Embodied: Chinese Buddhist and Daoist Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2010), The Art of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its History and Meaning (2009), Mother-of-Pearl: A Tradition in Asian Lacquer (2006), and Treasures of Asian Art: The Asia Society’s Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Collection (1994).
In conjunction with the Global Day of Clay #GlobalDayofClay and National Clay Week #nationalclayweek, the Perkins lecture will be live streamed to a global audience.
Dorothy Wilson Perkins
Born on September 20, 1917 in Hammond, Indiana, Dorothy’s family eventually settled in Wellsville, New York where she graduated from high school with honors in 1935. The following year she enrolled in Alfred University taking courses at the New York State College of Ceramics, where she completed her B.F.A. degree (again with honors) in 1939. Offered a scholarship at the Ohio State University, Dorothy took graduate courses with Arthur E. Baggs, who had been a former student of Charles Fergus Binns at Alfred. She received her M.A. degree from O.S.U. in 1940. Returning to Wellsville, Dorothy married her Alfred classmate Lyle Perkins in the University’s campus chapel. They moved to Hershey, Pennsylvania where her husband was teaching. After a period of Navy duty for Lyle and teaching for Dorothy, Lyle completed his M.F.A. at Alfred in 1947. They next moved to Providence, Rhode Island. During the 15 years that Dorothy taught at the Rhode Island School of Design she made the majority of her creative pottery. At this same time, she also wrote numerous articles for Ceramic Age and Ceramics Monthly; produced pottery for exhibition here and abroad; taught two consecutive summers for Charles Harder at Alfred; and traveled extensively. In 1951 both Lyle and Dorothy started programs at O.S.U. leading to doctorates in 1956. When Lyle and Dorothy began their lengthy commitment to the programs at the University of Massachusetts in 1962, Dorothy was barred from taking a faculty position due to nepotism rules in place at the time. Nonetheless her many accomplishments in life included exerting a strong influence in the ceramic world which lasts to this day. Her ceramic work can be found in numerous collections, including those at O. S. U. and the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum.
Dorothy was the first slide librarian at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1971) and upon her retirement in 1981, that facility was named in her honor. Dorothy Wilson Perkins died of lung cancer on August 17, 1996. Her memory will live on through those who knew her, her splendid ceramic pieces, and through this Dorothy Wilson Perkins Ceramic History Lecture which will be held each fall. Lyle Perkins died June 20, 2005.