|Birth name||Edythe Eckhardt|
January 28, 1905|
|Died||April 27, 1998
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
|Field||Ceramic art, glass sculpture|
|Training||Cleveland School of Art|
|Patrons||Cowan Pottery, Public Works of Art Project|
|Awards||John Simon Guggenheim Awards for Fine Arts, 1955 and 1959; Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship, 1956; Cleveland Arts Prize Special Citation for Distinguished Service to the Arts, 1971|
Edris Eckhardt (28 January 1905 – 27 April 1998) was an American artist associated with the Cleveland School. She is known for her work in Ceramic art and glass sculpture, her work with the Federal Arts Project of Cleveland, and for her teaching.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Eckhardt was trained at the Cleveland School of Art (now Cleveland Institute of Art), studying at the same time as ceramicist and industrial designer Viktor Schreckengost. While still a student, she was employed as an artist and designer at the noted Cleveland ceramics firm Cowan Pottery. Early in her career she changed her first name from Edythe to the more androgynous Edris in order to counter bias against female artists.
Federal Arts funding funded much of her artistic output during the 1930s. She created a serious of ceramic sculpture illustrating children’s literature for public libraries thanks to grants from the Public Works of Art Project. Eckhardt would then serve as the head of the Ceramics and Sculpture division of the Federal Arts Project of Cleveland from 1935-1942.
During the 1930s, Eckhardt’s ceramics were exhibited widely. She showed at the Cleveland Museum of Art in each of its annual May Show’s from 1933 to 1945. She also showed at the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco and in the 1939 New York World's Fair.
Throughout her career, Eckhardt taught at the university level. She began teaching ceramics at the Cleveland School of Art in 1932 serving on the faculty for the following 30 years. She held teaching positions at Cleveland College from 1940-1956, Western Reserve University from 1947-1957, University of California, Berkeley from 1962-1963, and Notre Dame College from 1950-1970. Along with her formal teaching, Eckhardt educated the public on ceramics in articles for Ceramics Monthly starting in 1954.
After World War II, Eckhardt explored glass making and eventually bronze casting. Her work in studio glass garnered her two John Simon Guggenheim Awards for Fine Arts, first in 1955 and 1959. Along with those awards, her glass work earned her the Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship in 1956. While her early career was focused on ceramics, her 1971 Cleveland Arts Prize Special Citation for Distinguished Service to the Arts highlighted her pioneering role in the field of glass sculpture.
- M. T. Bassett and V. Naumann: Cowan Pottery and the Cleveland School (Atglen, 1997)
- "Edris Eckhardt". Clevelandartsprize.org. Retrieved 2012-07-19.
- Robinson, William. Transformations Cleveland Art: 1796-1946 . Cleveland: Cleveland Museum Of Art, 1996. Print.
- Cleveland Museum of Art's May Show database
- "Edris Eckhardt - Artist, Fine Art, Auction Records, Prices, Biography for Edris (Edith Aline) Eckhardt". Askart.com. Retrieved 2012-07-19.