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The University of North Dakota

Chester Fritz Library Digital Collections

UND Pottery Collection Overview

UND pottery was a turn of the 20th century effort to promote “a wealth of design material peculiar to the prairies” — as Margaret Cable wrote in a 1926 brochure. UND Pottery is now highly collectible, has been featured on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow and is the subject of several books.

In 2010 the University of North Dakota celebrated the centennial of its ceramics program, begun by Margaret Kelly Cable in the School of Mines. Cable and her students turned North Dakota clay and motifs into an industry for North Dakota and a legacy for the University. Variously known as Cable pottery, School of Mines Pottery, UND Pottery or North Dakota (ND) Cable Pottery, it is highly collectible across the nation, and nowhere more so than at UND. Images of over 900 pieces of decorative ceramic pieces housed in the Hughes Fine Arts Center can be viewed in this digital collection.

For more information on the Cable Years at UND visit the UND Ceramics Department.

Further Reading

Barr, Margaret Libby, et al. University of North Dakota Pottery: The Cable Years. Fargo, N.D.: Knight Printing Co, 1977.

Cable, Margaret Kelly. Pottery from North Dakota Clays. Grand Forks, N.D.: University of North Dakota, 1926.

Forster, Ken. UND Pottery: A History and Comparative Study of the Art Pottery made at the University of North Dakota. Sarasota, Fla: Marlin Media Pub, 2004.

Miller, Donald, et al. University of North Dakota Pottery: The Cable Years: The Golden Anniversary of Margaret Kelly Cable's Retirement. 2nd ed. Grand Forks, N.D: University of North Dakota, Visual Arts Dept., 1999.

Archival Collections

Ceramics Department Records, UA #10, University Archives, Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota.

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