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Date(s) - February 12, 2021 - February 13, 2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Dame Magdalene Odundo D.B.E. is a Kenyan-born British studio potter, best known for her hand-built ceramics. Her vessels are made with a traditional coiling technique, without the use a potter’s wheel, hand-burnished, and left unglazed. With simple curves and color variations, her works convey the depths of connection between humans, earth, clay and vessels.

As part of the Scott Artist Series, Magdalene Odundo will be joining the Department of Art and Art History for a virtual artist visit, in conjunction with current exhibitions at the Gregory Allicar Museum, Shattering Perspectives: A Teaching Collection of African Ceramics and Richard De Vore and the Teaching Collection. The schedule of events is as followed.

February 12th

10 – 11 a.m.: Lecture by Magdalene Odundo

11 a.m. – Noon: Q&A with Magdalene Odundo

Questions generated by students from the Department of Art and Art History.

Zoom Link:

Passcode: 792024

February 13th

10 a.m. – Noon: Panel Discussion

Magdalene Odundo, Douglas Dawson, collector and gallerist, Dr. Suellen Melzer, professor of Soil Science in conversation with Dr. David Riep, associate professor of Art History, and Del Harrow, associate professor of Art. 

Zoom Link:

Passcode: 792024

Odundo attended the Nairobi Polytechnic in Kenya to study Graphics and Commercial Art and moved to England in 1971 to pursue a career in Graphic Design, where she discovered pottery.  In 1974-1975, she visited Nigeria and Kenya to study traditional hand-built pottery techniques and San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico to observe the making of blackware vessels.

She currently lives in Farnham, Surrey and has been Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts since 2018. She was awarded the African Art Recognition Award by Detroit Institute of Arts in 2008, and the African Heritage Outstanding Achievement in the Arts award in 2012, together with honorary doctorates from the University of Florida and University of the Arts London. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to art in the 2008 Birthday Honours and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to art and arts education.

Her work is included in the permanent collections of nearly 50 international museums including The Art Institute of Chicago, The British Museum, London The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York and the National Museum of African Art, Washington DC. In 2020, a pot by Odundo sold at auction for $268,000, the highest price by a living ceramist.

This talk is co-sponsored by the museum as part of the Critic & Artist Residency Series, made possible by the FUNd Endowment at CSU, and by the Department of Art and Art History as part of the Scott Artist Lecture Series. Additional support is provided by a grant from the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment , which works to enhance the cultural development and atmosphere for the arts at Colorado State University.