George Ohr (1857-1918) was a self-proclaimed genius and eccentric of Biloxi, Mississippi. Ohr established and produced a wide range of wares at his Biloxi Art Pottery (c. 1880-c. 1909). Ohr claimed to be the greatest potter on earth.
While his training as a potter was not formal, and he represented himself as a self-taught country bumpkin, there is no doubt that he was well aware of all or most that was going on in the pottery world and quite familiar with the works by the Martin brothers of London as well as many other British and American potters.
Ohr was the son of immigrant German parents from Alsace-Lorraine who arrived in New Orleans c. 1850. By about 1876, Ohr became interested in ceramics and apprenticed himself to the potter of New Orleans, Joseph Fortune Meyer whose parentage also came from Alsace-Lorraine.
Throughout his productive career, Ohr produced thousands of pieces of pottery made from local clay dug from the Tchoutacabouffa River, ranging from utilitarian to the most remarkable and eccentric shapes and glazes. In 1884 he displayed and sold his pottery at the World’s Industrial and New Orleans Cotton Centennial Exposition claiming that (of the hundreds of items he displayed) no two were alike. His mature works are renowned for their extremely thin walls, creative glazes and uniquely free shapes.
There is an Ohr-O’Keef Museum of Art in Biloxi that displays a permanent collection of Ohr’s works. The MFA, Boston, also owns some of his antique works in its permanent collections as well as do most of the serious ceramics collections in major museums of America.
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- William J Jenack Auctioneers
- Copake Auction Inc
- Charlton Hall
- Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers
- Jackson's International
- Neal Auction Company
- New Orleans Auction Galleries
- Time & Again
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- Crocker Farm
- Berner's Auction Gallery
- Morphy Auctions
- Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals
- Humler & Nolan