Jayna M. Josefson
Scope and Contents
The papers of ceramicist Robert Chapman Turner measure 13.3 linear feet and date from circa 1917 to 2005. The papers document Turner's career as an educator and studio potter through biographical material, correspondence, writings, teaching files, professional files including lectures, subject files, printed material, and photographs.
The bulk of Turner's papers relate to his role as an educator and a lecturer at various institutions including Alfred University, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Black Mountain College, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Penland School of Crafts. Records, including two sound cassettes, regarding his time at these institutions may be found among his teaching and professional files as well as among photographs. Turner's professional files document his long affiliations with professional organizations such as the York State Craftsmen, National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and the International Academy of Ceramics. Correspondence is with artists, family, and friends. Notable correspondents include Margaret Carney, Kenneth Ferguson, Alice Parrott, Toshiko Takaezu, and Frans Wildenhain among many others and may be found in both the correspondence series and professional files. Photographs of note are by John Wood and depict the building of the pottery studio at Black Mountain College.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Robert Chapman Turner donated some of his papers in 1982. Additional materials were donated in 2005-2006 by Rosalind Turner Zuses, Turner's daughter.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview of Robert Turner conducted 2001 June 11, by Margaret Carney, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America,
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Jayna Josefson in 2019.