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James (Jim) McKinnell

Biography to Display: 

Born 1919  Nitro, West Virginia

Died 2005  Fort Collins, Colorado

EDUCATION

1941      BS Ceramic Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

1947      MS Ceramic Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

 

PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE

1941-1945 US Navy Active Duty

1947-1950 Locke Insulator, Baltimore, Maryland

1951  Teaching, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Surveyor, US Geological Survey, various locations

1952   Engineer, Boeing, Seattle, Washington

1970-1987 Teaching, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

1987-2005    Studio artist, Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

BIOGRAPHY

James and Nan McKinnell were a husband-and-wife ceramic team, known for their joint productions of wheel thrown work and their contributions to the field of American ceramics through teaching and travel. Both James and Nan primarily produced vessel form functional pottery. Although James was heavily influenced by Japanese ceramics, Nan often looked to contemporary industrial design for inspiration. For the most part their works were collaborations in making, glazing, and decorating. Their common signature is “McKinnell.”

James and Nan McKinnell were also known for their experimentations with glazes. Nan’s recipe for deep copper red is still used by many potters today.

James developed a portable kiln to fit their nomadic lifestyle. It was a loose brick, flat top, double chambered kiln fueled by propane. This flexible kiln design has become widely adopted in the ceramics world as it can be altered to fit the particular firing need or challenge.

An oral hstory interview with Nan McKinnell  2005, June 12-13. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. can be found here: https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-nan-mckinnell-12178

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California

Archie Bray Foundation; Ceramics Collection, Helena, Montana

Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona

Brunnier Art Museum, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

CU Art Museum, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado

Everson Art Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

History of Colorado Center, Decorative Arts Collection, Denver, Colorado

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, Denver, Colorado

Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, Minnesota

National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland

 

Bibliography

Bibliography to Display: 

Heller, Dulcey. “Remembering Nan Bangs McKinnell.” American Craft Council, Aug. 24, 2012.      

Oral history interview with Nan McKinnell, 2005 June 12-13. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Paglia, Michael. “Firing Line; a Salute to the Late, Great James McKinnell, a Master of Colorado Ceramics.” Westword (April 28 2005)

 

 

 

Center for CraftCenter For Craft

 

 

AMOCA American Museum of Ceramic ArtAMOCA American Museum of Ceramic Art

 

Typical Marks
1961
1960s
1965
ca 1965
1970 - 1990
Vase
Date: 1961
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Carved, Glaze
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 78.1.771, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 78.1.771, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Bowl
Date: 1960s
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
Covered Jar
Date: 1965
Form: Covered Jar
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze, Luster
E John Bullard Collection
E John Bullard Collection
Bottle Vase
Date: ca 1965
Form: Vase
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Carved, Glaze, Stamped
E John Bullard Collection
E John Bullard Collection
Bowl
Date: 1970 - 1990
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
American Museum of Ceramic Art 2004.2.118, gift of the American Ceramic Society
Photo: TMP
American Museum of Ceramic Art 2004.2.118, gift of the American Ceramic Society
Photo: TMP
1970 - 1990
Photo: TMP
Bowl
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Beth Thomas
Photo: Beth Thomas
Photo: Beth Thomas
Photo: Beth Thomas
Bowl
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Carved, Glaze, Incised, Stamped
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 78.1.765, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 78.1.765, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Bowl
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Glaze, Incised, Luster
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 78.1.722, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 78.1.722, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Shallow Bowl
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 84.1.9, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 84.1.9, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Urn
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Celadon, Incised
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 78.1.733, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 78.1.733, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Bowl
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Glaze
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 84.1.8, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer Collection, 84.1.8, Scripps College
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP

Citation: Beul, Jasmine. "The Marks Project." Last modified March 28, 2022. http://themarksproject.org:443/marks/mckinnell