Celebrating Edith Gwathmey
We mourn the passing and celebrate the life of Edith Gwathmey – ceramicist, educator, mother, grandmother and seminal Echo Park Craft Fair artist.
Edith was a lifelong New Yorker, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in Art from Hunter College. She started out as a painter in the ‘60s, living in Soho when it was a hotbed of Happenings and Minimalism. After the birth of her daughter Rachel in the late 70s, Edith struggled with painting, but soon discovered clay as a profound means of self expression. Edith was drawn to ceramics by the sheer joy of “messing about” combined with the rigor of craft. Soon she incorporated her love of painting into her work, exploring the play between pattern, color and form. Working out of her Upper West Side studio for the last twenty years of her life, Edith produced exquisite hand thrown and hand painted ceramics that were not only beautiful but functional as well.
Edith was also an accomplished educator. For over forty years, she taught art at The Bank Street School for Children and the Arts Workshop for Teachers at Bank Street College. Edith deeply believed in art as a complete language and necessary vehicle for the self expression of all children. She was a primary developer of the art curriculum at both the School for Children and College of Bank Street.
It was our honor to feature Edith’s ceramics at EPCF, and our great joy to have her as an integral member of the EPCF family. She will be greatly missed.
A memorial service for Edith will be held in New York in June at Bank Street College of Education. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to either organization:
The Edith Gwathmey Fund in Celebration of Children and Art at The Bank Street School
610 West 112th Street
New York, NY 10025
ALS Association – The Greater New York Chapter
42 Broadway, Suite 1724
New York, NY 10004
We interviewed Edith in 2016 about her deep love for her craft. Click the link below to read Edith’s interview and see more photos of her ceramics.