North Carolina Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "North Carolina Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

TFAO welcomes volunteers to further the broadening of knowledge related to this topic. To learn more about TFAO's many volunteer opportunities please click here. Volunteers are welcome to contribute suggestions for additional content in this catalogue. Please see Catalogue and database management for detail


Resource Library essays listed by author name in alphabetical order, followed by articles:

As of April, 2015 Resource Library contains 355 pages including the state's name, yet no articles or essays specific to the state.

We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Appalachian State University - Catherine J. Smith Gallery

Asheville Art Museum

Biltmore House

Davidson College Galleries

Duke University Museum of Art

Fayetteville Museum of Art

Hickory Museum of Art

Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum

Mint Museum of Art / Mint Museum of Craft+Design

North Carolina Museum of Art

North Carolina Museum of History

Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Weatherspoon Art Museum

A potential source of Resource Library articles and essays is the North Carolina Arboretum, located in Asheville, North Carolina. The Arboretum features rotating exhibitions at the Baker Exhibit Center.


Other online information:

An Almost Lost Colony, Tryon's early-1900s artist enclave claims its rightful place in history from WNC Magazine, GulfStream Communications. Accessed August, 2015.

Decoy Carving from Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center. Accessed August, 2015.

"Folk Art" by Philip McFee and Bruce E. Baker, 2006, from NCpedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Forest Light: Adele Wayman is a 2017 exhibit at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University which says: "Wayman's paintings can reveal two different scenes or the same scene in different light, different moods or veer toward abstraction -- letting the viewer deep into the artist's nuanced mind, as it wanders with focused attention through the seasons outside the big bay windows of her studio."  Also see artist's website  Accessed 12/17

"Fraktur" by Ruth E. Homrighaus, 2006, from NCpedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Handcrafted: North Carolina Clay is a 2018 exhibit at the Blowing Rock Museum which says: "North Carolina has long been recognized for its skilled potters and iron-rich red clay. Potters throughout the state would pull their material directly from the earth and use this clay to form jugs, jars, bowls, platters, and vases, all by hand. Then and now, these utilitarian vessels exist with a sense of humanity, history, and purpose unique to the craft-enriched past of the south."  -- To read more after exhibit closes, go to "Past Exhibitions" section of museum website.  Accessed 5/18

North Carolina (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

North Carolina Women Artists' Archives at the Sloane Art Library, University of North Carolina. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

North Carolina Pottery, an exhibit held 27 January 2012 - 4 March 2012 at the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Accessed August, 2015.

"Pottery" by David M. Egner, 2006, from NCpedia. Accessed August, 2015.

"Pottery Overview" by Rachel Jenkins, 2010, from NCpedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Tradition in Clay: Two Centuries of Classic North Carolina Pots, an exhibit held 26 December 2010 - 20 March 2011 at the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Accessed August, 2015.

Tryon Artists: 1892 - 1942 from Condar Press. Accessed August, 2015.

"Visual Arts" by Bruce E. Baker and Martha Belle Caldwell, 2006, from NCpedia. Part 1: Introduction; Part 2: Early North Carolina Painting and Portraiture; Part 3: A Growing Artistic Community in the State; Part 4: Producing and Teaching Art in North Carolina Colleges and Universities; Part 5: The Evolution of Photography; Part 6: North Carolina Art Museums, Exhibits, and Centers. Accessed August, 2015.

Western North Carolina Artists & Illustrators to 1950 from State Library of North Carolina. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]


(above: Mint Museum UPTOWN, May, 2015. Photo © John Hazeltine)


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

The Remarkable Potters of Seagrove: The Folk Pottery of a Legendary North Carolina Community (A Lark Ceramics Book), by Charlotte V. Brown. 144 pages. Publisher: Lark Books (August 1, 2006). ISBN-10: 1579906346. ISBN-13: 978-1579906344

The Potter's Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery, by Mark Hewitt (Author), Nancy Sweezy (Author). 296 pages. Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (October 27, 2005). ISBN-10: 0807829927. ISBN-13: 978-0807829929. Product Description: "Classic North Carolina stoneware pots--with their rich textures, monochromatic glazes, and minimal decoration--belong to one of America's most revered stoneware pottery traditions. In a lavishly illustrated celebration of that tradition, Mark Hewitt and Nancy Sweezy trace the history of North Carolina pottery from the nineteenth century to the present day. They demonstrate the intriguing historic and aesthetic relationships that link pots produced in North Carolina to pottery traditions in Europe and Asia, in New England, and in the neighboring state of South Carolina. With hundreds of color photographs highlighting the shapes and surfaces of carefully selected pots, The Potter's Eye honors the keen focus vernacular potters bring to their materials, tools, techniques, and history. It is an evocative guide for anyone interested in the art of North Carolina pottery and the aesthetic majesty of this resilient and long-standing tradition." text courtesy of

The Craft Heritage Trails of Western North Carolina, 3rd Edition, by Jay Fields (Author), Betty Hurst (Author). 237 pages. Publisher: HandMade in America, Inc. (May 1, 2003). ISBN-10: 0965190544. ISBN-13: 978-0965190541

North Carolina Art Pottery Identification and Value Guide, by A. Everette James Jr. (Author), Everette James (Author), Rodney L. Leftwich (Author), Charlotte Brown (Foreword), Heather Warren (Designer). 256 pages. Publisher: Collector Books (January 2003). ISBN-10: 1574323083. ISBN-13: 978-1574323085. Product Description: "Pottery from the Catawba Valley, mountain pottery of Western North Carolina, the Coles, Nell Cole Graves, the Cravens, Jugtown, M.L. Owen, and even rare and unusual pieces are discussed. Signs, stamps, shapes, and symbols used are given coverage, as well as the implications of condition of the pottery. Family tree charts in this book are reprinted from The Traditional Potters of Seagrove, NC, copyright 1994, Robert C. Lock, Inc. AUTHORBIO: Everette James is an honors graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke Medical School, and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He taught at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University College (London), and Vanderbilt. He has published over 500 articles and 20 books including: American Art: Thoughts of a Collector; Essays in Folk Art; Tales of the Dismal Swamp; and North Carolina Art Pottery 1900-1960. Dr. James and wife, Dr. Nancy Farmer, live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. REVIEW: Collectors have been waiting for a complete guide to the pottery native to the beautiful state of North Carolina, and this book provides a thorough look at the challenge of collecting these delightful pieces. The transition from utilitarian to art pottery is discussed, as well as pottery from Western North Carolina, Nell Cole Graves, M.L. Owen, and much more. No other book on the market can touch this one; it's the most in-depth volume available on the subject." text courtesy of

Artisans in the North Carolina Backcountry. by Lewis, Johanna Miller. 1995. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. 240 pp.

Innovations in Clay: Catawba Valley Pottery: October 10, 1987-January 17, 1988, by Hickory Museum of Art. Published by Hickory Museum of Art. 32 pages

Windows to the Past: Primitive Watercolors from Guilford County, North Carolina in the 1820s, By Karen Cobb Carroll, Laurinda Richardson Carlson Gallery, Laurinda Richardson Carlson Gallery, Greensboro Historical Museum, Greensboro Historical Museum. Published by Greensboro Historical Museum, 1983. 58 pages

Two Hundred Years of the Visual Arts in North Carolina: Catalog of an Exhibition 12 September-24 October 1976, by North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of Art. Published by North Carolina Museum of Art, 1976. ISBN 0882590839, 9780882590837. 146 pages

Two Centuries of Art in New Hanover County, By Crockette W. Hewlett. Published by Moore, Pub. Co., 1976. ISBN 0877160651, 9780877160656. 329 pages

Art in North Carolina; episodes and developments, 1585-1970, By Ola Maie Foushee. 1972. 238 pages

Two Centuries of Art in New Hanover County, by Crockette W. Hewlett. Published by Moore, Pub. Co., 1976. ISBN 0877160651, 9780877160656. 329 pages

The Arts and Crafts in North Carolina, by Craig, James H. Winston - Salem, North Carolina: Old Salem, Inc., 1965: 480 pages.

The North Carolina Portrait Index, 1700-1860, By National Society of the Colonial Dames of America North Carolina, Laura MacMillan. Compiled by Laura MacMillan. Published by University of North Carolina Press, 1963. 272 pages

Some Recent Contributors of the Cherokee Indians of North Carolina to the crafts of the Southern Highlands, by Arnold, Dorothy Andora Knoxville, TN: The University of Tennessee, 1952 (Graduate Thesis).



Cheek, Pauline Binkley. 1997. "The Hooked Rug Workers of Madison County, North Carolina: A Narrative Record"[1930s and 40s; interviews]. In May We All Remember Well: A Journal of the History & Cultures of Western North Carolina, Vol. 1, ed. R. S. Brunk, 8-35. Asheville, N.C.: Robert S. Brunk Auction Services Inc.

Leftwich, Rodney Henderson. 2001"The Nonconnah Pottery of Tennessee and Western North Carolina: 1904-1918".[later Pisgah Forest Pottery]. In May We All Remember Well: A Journal of the History & Cultures of Western North Carolina, Vol. 2, ed. R. S. Brunk, 70-90. Asheville, N.C.: Robert S. Brunk Auction Services, Inc.

Matheny, Paul. 2001. "Face Vessels and Contemporary South Carolina Folk Pottery"[face jugs; Spartanburg and Greenville Cos., S.C.]. North Carolina Folklore Journal 48 (Spring/Summer-Fall/Winter): 22-27.

Taylor, Terry B. 1997. " Sunset Mountain Pottery" [1929-1935]. In May We All Remember Well: A Journal of the History & Cultures of Western North Carolina, Vol. 1, ed. R. S. Brunk, 50-62. Asheville, N.C.: Robert S. Brunk Auction Services Inc.


(above: Baker Exhibit Center, North Carolina Arboretum, May, 2015. Photo © John Hazeltine)

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