Scripps College recently received a $3.5 million commitment from alumna Joan Lincoln SC ’49 and her husband, David Lincoln, to expand the college’s ceramic arts program.
The pledge will fund a ceramic artist professorship, the construction of the Joan and David Lincoln Ceramic Art Building, and a portion of the Scripps Ceramic Annual Exhibition. An additional $500,000 will also be allocated to Claremont Graduate University (CGU) to support its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program.
The Scripps Art Department currently offers three courses in ceramic art, two beginning and one intermediate. Hiring a new professor will allow the department to add four new courses, which will be open for enrollment to both CGU and Scripps students. The national search for the position is expected to commence shortly with ad postings at national conferences. The search should conclude within 18 months.
“The funds allocated to CGU will support students at the graduate level working with ceramics or clay art, immediately creating an opportunity for up to four students per year at the grad school to work at the Scripps facility,” said Ken Gonzales-Day, chair of the Scripps Art Department. “Scripps students will have access to these grad students and be given a much richer sense of what the medium is.”
An empty space east of the Lang Art building will be the site of the new Joan and David Lincoln Ceramic Art Building. Since the construction of the art building, its eastern area has been intended to accommodate a sculpture facility. The Lincoln pledge will allow for the realization of these aspirations.
“It’s been a long-standing need of the college to improve facilities in the ceramics area,” said Gonzales-Day. “So this was a wonderful match of a need with a gift.”
Construction is expected to begin immediately following graduation in the spring.
“The building, the new joint position, and the scholarships are all amazing and unprecedented,” said Adam Davis, an assistant professor of art at Scripps. “Combined, they will once again put Scripps on the map as a Mecca for ceramics, which is just what the Lincolns intend their gift to enable.”
The goal of the contribution is to give students a chance to rethink ceramics as a medium of fine art, Davis said.
“Ceramics has always been an underdog and underrepresented in the fine art world but it is steadily gaining momentum,” he continued. “We are seeing its practitioners gain presence and awards in internationally acclaimed venues and exhibitions.”
After graduating from the Scripps art program, Lincoln attended Arizona State University. She graduated with a MFA and has since become an accomplished ceramics artist.