For the first time in over 100 years, five pieces of local pottery are together again and on display at the Zanesville Museum of Art.
These five Weller vases range in size from forty inches to nearly seven feet tall. The pieces made in 1902 took a year to paint and were showcased at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 in the city of St. Louis, Missouri.
The seven foot Aurelian Floor Vase received a gold medal in the art’s category for its hand painted decoration of golden apples on a branch.
"Is there anybody today that can do art work like that," said Potter Lovers Trustee Alva Richardson. "When they painted these pictures or flowers they were painted with clay really there’s paint in the clay. If you feel pots it has a raised thing that’s done by the clay."
After the World’s Fair the pieces were separated. Four of the vases are in private collections in Indiana. The fifth has been on display at the Zanesville Museum of Art since 1995. It took three years of negations and a lot of special preparations to move the vases over two days, the five hundred miles to Zanesville.
Special foaming and crating was used to keep the vases from moving during transport.
"It took a long time because we had to spend a lot of time making sure that the vases were in good condition, making sure there were no stress points or weak areas and then we had to custom fit and measure all of the entire of the crate on site," said Andy Near the Zanesville Museum of Art Registrar.
"It’s the realization of a lot hard work. We’re incredibly excited here at the museum and I’ve known we’ve heard so much from the community who loves our pottery collection that they’re just thrilled by this opportunity to see these pieces together because it’s not every day you get to see a seven foot vase," said Laine Snyder Zanesville Art Museum Executive Director.
Weller Pottery operated in Zanesville from 1872 to 1948. The exhibition at the Zanesville Museum of Art runs from Saturday July 5 to October 11 in the museum’s Golden Gallery on the third floor.