This research collection was amassed by Elaine Levin, a historian of American ceramics, and donated to the USC Libraries in the summer of 2013. It is available for viewing in the Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library at the University of Southern California, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. We do not provide reproduction services and do not have scanning facilities for our archival collections. The collections must be viewed on site. To make an appointment, call (213) 740-1956. You can bring a laptop or a small digital camera.
Elaine Levin is an art historian, writer, lecturer and curator in ceramics. She received her undergraduate degree in history from Grinnell College and her master's in art history at the California State University, Northridge. Levin began teaching courses in American ceramic history as a lecturer in 1985 at the University of California, Los Angeles, at Otis College of Art and Design, and at the California State University, Long Beach, and taught intermittently until 1993.
Elaine Levin has lectured on ceramics at colleges, galleries, art schools, and conferences around the U. S, as well as in Norway, Finland, and Canada. She has curated or co-curated fourteen ceramic exhibits and has served as moderator or panel member for twelve symposia and conferences. She has participated in three documentary films on ceramic artists. Levin has served as a juror for eight art exhibits. Her essays on ceramics have been published in twenty three catalogs, and her articles have been published in ceramic magazines in the U.S., Australia, Great Britain, Greece, Switzerland, and Spain.
Elaine Levin's book, The History of American Ceramics: From Pipkins and Bean Pots to Contemporary Form, was originally published by Harry Abrams in 1988, and was reissued in 1998. A collection of articles was published by the Design Division of the American Ceramic Society in Movers and Shakers in American Ceramics: Defining Twentieth Century Ceramics, in 2003.
The American Ceramic Society honored Elaine Levin with a Certificate of Recognition for "Oustanding Contributions to American Ceramic Art" (2000). The National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) made her an Honorary Member "in recognition of outstanding accomplishment and notable contributions to the ceramic arts" (2003).