Find the ‘Mad Potter of Biloxi’ at The MAX in Meridian, MS

Eccentric, brilliant and a century ahead of his time, George Ohr is featured in the exhibition “Deliberately Distorted: The Pottery of George E. Ohr,” which will be on view through Jan. 10, 2021.

Ohr created thousands of extraordinary pottery pieces that he affectionally called his “mud babies” and that smashed the staid conventions of his craft. “No two alike,” he said proudly. On his wheel, he shaped ceramic vessels of a thin-walled delicacy and grace that few can duplicate. He crumpled and twisted the clay before adding homemade glazes in extravagantly bright colors. He sometimes left them unglazed, as he saw the beauty in both finishes.

Today, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) describes Ohr as “arguably America’s quintessential art potter.” Of his pitchers, vases and other vessels, The Met says, “In form and decoration, they are essentially abstract expressionism — almost 50 years before that movement was founded.”

George Ohr is a Mississippi legend and a charter member of The MAX Hall of Fame. His mud babies have done him proud, showcasing his and his state’s artistic legacy to the world.

“Deliberately Distorted: The Pottery of George E. Ohr” features over 40 never-seen-before pieces. Come and see just how astute the Mad Potter was when he said that, after his death, “my work will be prized, honored and cherished.”

Installation view of “Deliberately Distorted: The Pottery of George E. Ohr,” at The MAX in Meridian, MS.

The exhibit is free with museum admission. The MAX is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday (closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). It’s easy to find at 2155 Front Street in the heart of downtown Meridian.

Extra precautions are being taken to keep our facility clean and safe from COVID-19. Employees are screened and surfaces are thoroughly cleaned every day, no-touch measures are in place throughout the building, masks are required, and galleries have a maximum capacity of 10 people, among other protocols. For more information, visit msarts.org.

About The MAX

The MAX showcases Mississippi’s Arts + Entertainment Experience in one immersive destination. Here, visitors of all ages explore the global impact of Mississippians on music, literature, art, entertainment and cuisine. The MAX honors our state’s creative legacy and inspires the next generation of creators through a unique experience of interactive exhibits. Come discover the Mississippi roots of some of the world’s greatest arts and entertainment icons — like Elvis Presley, Oprah Winfrey, B.B. King, Faith Hill, Sela Ward and Kermit the Frog, just to name a few.

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