Skip to main content

Marlis Schratter papers, 1956-1983

Schratter, Marlis, 1919-

Art teacher, Ceramicist


Collection Information

Size: 1.6 Linear feet, (partially microfilmed on 3 reels)

Summary: Letters, technical notes, business records, scrapbook, printed material, photographs, a motion picture film, and fired clay samples document Schratter's ceramic techniques and her artistic and teaching activities.
REEL 970: Notes concern marketing and methods of attracting customers, record sales and customer reactions, and list supply purchases and prices for her work (1960-1975). The collection also contains 6 letters from Schratter's colleagues (1971-1973), a clipping, and a blueprint for a kiln.
REELS 982-983: Thirty-nine letters to Schratter from colleagues concern her exhibitions and her work (1957-1975). One notebook contains technical information concerning topics related to ceramics (1956- 1974). A second notebook concerning the construction of a gas kiln contains 16 letters, a receipt, and kiln log sheets. Seven letters and miscellaneous notebook pages concern glazes, slab construction, and related topics (1956- 1974). Eight pages from a kiln log contain notes and 5 firing charts recording the kiln's performance. A scrapbook contains clippings, exhibition announcements, and catalogs (1956-1975). Photographs show Schratter's work (1967-1974). The collection also contains 2 resumes and 2 artist's statements.
UNFILMED: Six letters to Schratter from colleagues concern her exhibitions and work (1974-1983). A card file contains glaze and slip recipes. Three notebooks contain technical notes on clay bodies, chemicals, recipes, glazes and teaching (1956-1975), and gas kilns (1965-1975). Nineteen course evaluation sheets are from Schratter's class at the DeCordova Museum (1974- 1975). Printed material consists of a clipping (1972) and an announcement and catalog for the exhibition "The Potter's Wheel" at the DeCordova Museum (1976). Photographs and slides show Schratter and her work. An 8mm motion picture "Pots" by Richard Morehouse shows Schratter teaching a class (1968). Thirty- two fired clay test samples are annotated with formulas.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ceramist and art instructor; Massachusetts. Born in Germany, Marlis Schratter came to the United States in 1940. In 1954, she began her training as a ceramist at the Baltimore Museum of Art, continuing her studies at the Boston Museum School and the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine. In addition to participating in many exhibitions, Schratter has been on the art faculty of the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts.


All unfilmed materials and the following microfilmed items are gifts: 9 letters (reel 982: frames 1042, 1046, 1053, 1058, 1062, 1065, 1066, 1067, and 1087), technical correspondence and notes (reel 982: frames 1092-1200), kiln log (reel 982: frames 1266-1278), and the majority of photographs of works (reel 983: frames 230-373). All other materials were loaned by Marlis Schratter.

Location of Originals

  • Reels 970 and 982-983 (part): Originals returned to the lender, Marlis Schratter, after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 970 and 982-983 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Marlis Schratter papers, 1956-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.