Sharif Bey Speaks at American Ceramic Circle 2022 Symposium

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

October 26 - 28, 2022


Please join the American Ceramic Circle for our 2022 Symposium to be held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, October 26-28. This exciting program highlights the singular ceramic treasures at The Met and the latest in ceramic scholarship. Our symposium begins with a welcome reception on Wednesday evening at the American Folk Art Museum, followed by two full days at The Metropolitan Museum hearing from a roster of renowned speakers and enjoying curatorial tours. On Thursday evening we are invited to a reception at an exhibition at the Albertz Benda Gallery. And the symposium concludes on Friday evening, with a celebratory dinner at The Met to toast the American Ceramic Circle’s more than 50 years of fellowship around a passion for ceramics.


Sharif Bey: Excavations: The Making of an Auto-Archaeological


Exhibition From 1983 to 1988 Pittsburgh public school student Sharif Bey (b. 1974) attended Saturday arts classes at Carnegie Museum of Art. Four decades later Bey is an acclaimed artist and professor who credits the expanded pedagogical experiences of his youth (from wandering museums to vocational training in ceramics) with inspiring his life in the arts. In this conversation Bey and curator Rachel Delphia will discuss the making of his recent exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art, Sharif Bey: Excavations. Through pre-pandemic site visits, weekly virtual chats, and prolific experimentation in his home studio during lockdown, Bey re-engaged with the art and natural history collections of his youth and his past and present selves. Bey’s curated selections from the Carnegie collections, sitespecific installations, and new ceramic sculptures probed questions about how he came to believe in himself as an artist and learned to connect artistic practice with his identity and service to his community.


Rachel Delphia

Rachel Delphia joined Carnegie Museum of Art’s Decorative Arts and Design Department in 2005. Since 2013, she has served as the Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator. A specialist in modern and contemporary design and craft, Delphia has worked extensively with the museum’s collections of European and American objects from ca. 1750–present. She recently organized Extraordinary Ordinary Things, a reimagining of the decorative arts and design galleries; and the solo exhibition Sharif Bey: Excavations. She has published in Antiques and Modern and authored essays on ceramists Beate Kuhn and Aneta Regel. Delphia received a BFA in Industrial Design and MA in English from Carnegie Mellon University and MA in American Material Culture from the Winterthur Program at the University of Delaware.


Dr. Sharif Bey

An artist and educator, Dr. Sharif Bey was raised in a large African American family in Pittsburgh, PA. While relatives left high school for jobs in industry, Bey had a pivotal experience as a young ceramics apprentice at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild. He earned a BFA from Slippery Rock University, an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a PhD from Penn State University. Inspired by functional pottery, modernism, Oceanic/African art and Art of the African diaspora, Bey’s ceramic and mix-media works investigate the cultural and political significance of adornment and the symbolic and formal properties of archetypal motifs across time and place. He is a 2022 recipient of the United States Artists Fellowship, and his work can be found in numerous museum collections. Bey lives in Syracuse with his wife and three children.

October 26, 2022