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David Shaner papers, 1937-2007, bulk 1968-1998

David Shaner papers, 1937-2007, bulk 1968-1998

Shaner, David, 1934-


Collection Information

Size: 2.8 linear feet

Summary: The papers of ceramicist David Shaner measure 2.8 linear feet and date from 1937-2007, with the bulk of the material from 1968-1998. Shaner's career as a ceramicist in Big Fork, Mont., is documented through scattered correspondence, subject files, studio working files, writings and notes by Shaner and others, exhibition catalogs and other printed material, and photographs.

Scattered correspondence includes letters, cards, and postcards. Correspondence is primarily with friends and colleagues, but also includes a few letters from galleries and art organizations. Subject files document Shaner's activities as a professional ceramicist. The majority of the files are for art galleries, but also found are files are for studio equipment, supply companies, and professional organizations. Files may include correspondence, agreements, invoices, price lists, receipts, and press releases.

Shaner's studio working files consist of glaze formulas, his kiln log notebook, plans, and kiln documentation. Also found are his studio notes, lists, formulas, manuals, and guides for various ceramic processes and tools. A series of writings and notes consist of notes by Shaner, including notes for his artist's statement, as well as draft manuscripts, lectures, and essays by others on the topic of ceramics.

Printed material includes articles documenting David Shaner's career, exhibition announcements and catalogs for exhibits of Shaner's work, and various publications about ceramics. A small number of photographs found within this collection depict kilns and kiln building events, unidentified artists and studio spaces, and artwork. Included is one photograph of David Shaner.

Biographical/Historical Note

David Shaner (1934-2002) was a ceramist in Bigfork, Mont.


Donated 2010 by Ann Shaner, David Shaner's widow.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the David Shaner Papers,
bulk 1968-1998
, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical Note
David Shaner (1934-2002) was a ceramist in Bigfork, Montana.
Shaner was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1934. He attended Kutztown State Teachers College and in 1957 entered the Master of Fine Arts program at Alfred University. After earning his MFA, he taught ceramics at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. In 1962 he and his wife Ann permanently relocated to Montana. Shaner served as director of the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana from 1964-1970. He remained a prolific potter and respected teacher throughout his life. Shaner was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 1995 and died in 2002.
The collection is arranged as 6 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1978-1999 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 2: Subject Files, 1961-1998 (Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 3: Studio Working Files, circa 1951-1990s (Boxes 1-2; 8 folders)
Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1954-circa 1993 (Box 2; 6 folders)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1937-2007 (Boxes 2-4; 1.4 linear feet)
Series 6: Photographs, 1968-1990s (Box 4; 4 folders)
Donated 2010 by Ann Shaner, David Shaner's widow.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Erin Kinhart in 2011.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

David Shaner papers, 1937-2007, bulk 1968-1998. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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