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Patti Warashina papers, circa 1900]-1991, bulk, 1970-1989

Patti Warashina papers, circa 1900]-1991, bulk, 1970-1989

Warashina, Patti, 1940-

Sculptor, Ceramicist

Collection Information

Size: 4.8 linear ft.

Summary: The Patti Warashina papers measure 4.8 linear feet and date from circa 1900 and 1957 through 1991 (bulk 1970-1989). The collection documents the artistic and teaching career of Seattle-based sculptor and ceramicist Patti Warashina predominantly through correspondence and printed material reflecting the many ceramic and craft exhibitions and other projects Warashina participated in throughout the United States, and her associations with other ceramicists. Also included are biographical documents, writings, art works, several photographs, and a video.

Biographical material includes family trees, diplomas, awards, and documents relating to Warashina's family Japanese internment during WWII. Correspondence, 1968-1991, relating to exhibitions and other projects, is with galleries, museums, purchasers, publishers, and others, among them the Lee Nordness Gallery (N.Y.), Morgan Gallery (Kansas City), and Theo Portney Gallery (Seattle). Additional correspondence files contain letters received, 1977-1990, many addressed to Warashina and her husband Bob (Robert Sperry), from friends, colleagues, former students and family members, including Nancy Carmen, Anne Currier, Deborah Horrell, Matthew Kangas, Howard Kottler, Marvin Lipofsky, Michael Lucero, and others.

Ten photographs, circa 1900-1944, are portraits of Warashina's relatives and family, and several snapshots, circa 1970s, are of former students and works of art. Printed material, 1961-1990, includes newspaper and magazine clippings, programs, journals, newsletters, exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, and workshop announcements for Warashina's various sculpture and ceramic lectures. Writings include both published and unpublished works by Warashina, including an artist's statement for a possible lecture at the 1986 conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Also found here are handwritten notes on a panel discussion titled Cultural and Racial Heritage: Sources and Imagery in which Warashina was a participant along with artists Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, María Brito Avellana, and Indira Johnson. Art work consists of blue line drawings for her sculpture "Red Earth," 1986 as well as a pen and ink sketch of Warashina by an unidentified artist. A videocassette, 1987, is of the television program "The Big A: Different Ways of Seeing", in which Warashina appears briefly.

Biographical/Historical Note

Patti Warashina (1940-) is a ceramist and sculptor from Seattle, Wash.


Donated 1991 by Patricia Warashina.

A Finding Aid to the Patti Warashina Papers,
circa 1900-1991
bulk 1970-1989
, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical Note
Ceramicist and sculptor Patti Warashina was born in 1940 as Masae Patricia Warashina in Spokane, Washington to third generation Japanese emigrants. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, where she studied with sculptors Robert Sperry, Harold Myers, Rudy Autio, Shoji Hamada, Shinsaku Hamada, and Ruth Penington. She received her first solo exhibition in 1962 at the Phoenix Art Gallery in Seattle the same year she graduated with an M.F.A. from the University of Washington. Warashina later married fellow student Fred Bauer and from 1964 to 1970 exhibited as Patti Bauer.
Influences in Warashina's art include California funk and sculptural ceramics. Her work is best known for its whimsical themes expressed through low-fire highly colored figurative images. Together with fellow artists Robert Sperry, Howard Kottler and Fred Bauer, she brought national recognition to the department of ceramics at the University of Washington's School of Art beginning in the 1980s.
Patti Warashina is a recipient of several awards for achievements in the field of crafts, most recently the Twining Humber Award granted by Seattle's Artists Trust in 2002. She received the Governor's Award of Special Commendation for the Arts in 1980 in addition to grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in both 1975 and 1986. In 1978, Warashina was awarded a World Craft Council Travel Grant which allowed her to conduct research on the ceramic arts process in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Bali and the Philippines. Warashina's teaching career spans over 30 years and includes positions at the University of Wisconsin, Eastern Michigan University, and at her alma mater where she has taught for over 25 years. Her work is featured in several museum collections in both the U.S. and abroad including the American Craft Museum in New York, the Seattle Art Museum and Henry Art Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery (Washington, DC), the Art Gallery of Western Australia, and the Ichon World Ceramic Center in Korea. Since her marriage to ceramicist Robert Sperry in 1976, she has used Patti Warashina as her professional name. Patti Warashina is a resident of Seattle, Washington.
The Patti Warashina papers are arranged as seven series based primarily on type of material. The correspondence in Series 2 is arranged chronologically for exhibitions and projects and general letters received. Additional letters received are arranged by name of author.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1974-1991, undated (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1957, 1967-1991, undated (Boxes 1-3; 2.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Photographs, circa 1900- circa 1959, 1971, undated (Box 3; 3 folders)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1961-1990, undated (Boxes 3-6, OV 7; 2.0 linear feet)
Series 5: Writings and Notes, 1984, 1986, 1989, undated (Box 6; 4 folders)
Series 6: Artwork, 1986, undated (Box 6; 2 folders)
Series 7: Miscellany, 1987, undated (Box 6; 2 folders)
Donated 1991 by Patricia Warashina.
Processing Information
Processing of the Patti Warashina papers was completed by Jill Lundin and Rosa Fernandez in 1994 and 2003.

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

Patti Warashina papers, circa 1900]-1991, bulk, 1970-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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