We are remembering Minnesota artist Warren MacKenzie, recognized nationally for his functional, every day pottery.
Preceding his long tenure at the University of Minnesota, Warren MacKenzie and first wife Alix MacKenzie came to Minnesota in 1947 to start the pottery studio at the St. Paul Gallery and School of Art, which later became the Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M).
In 2018, MN Original (MNO) began a partnership with the M to create a collection of stories celebrating St. Paul’s only major art museum. Though Warren’s health did not permit us to interview him personally about his time with the organization, we were able to hear from the museum’s Executive Director Kristin Makholm, Trustee Ann Ruhr Pifer and former student Anne DeCoster about the lasting impression he made on the institution and the inspiration he and his wife Alix instilled in their students.
In 1998, MacKenzie was awarded American Craft Council’s Gold Medal award, recognizing him as one of the most influential functional potters in American history.
For many years, MacKenzie sold his stoneware pots out of his Stillwater studio using the honor system, and through The Northern Clay Center and galleries around the country.
In 2010, MN Original had the honor of featuring Warren MacKenzie in a story about his work, process and philosophies of making pots.