The Burchfield Penney Art Center celebrates the life, artistry, and patronage of Sylvia L. Rosen, who lived a long life to the age of 101. She loved ceramics since her undergraduate years at Ohio State University in Columbus, where the renowned ceramicist Arthur Eugene Baggs (1886-1947) introduced her to the art form. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1941, she took ceramics lessons in the Cleveland home studio of Esther Marshall Sills, whose husband, John, built and fired the kilns.
Sylvia started with stoneware, which has a warm tan color often enhanced by grit and earthy glazes that reflect nature. Eventually, she favored the more refined qualities of porcelain. After she created vessels on a potter’s wheel, they were textured or decorated by hand, fired in a kiln, and ultimately finished with a clear, delicate, pale green, celadon glaze.
This champion of Art in Craft Media who created an endowment in 1987 with her husband, Nathan Rosen, was a generous patron for the whole community by supporting artists’ careers through exhibitions, catalogs, and programs. Sylvia donated several different examples of her ceramics to the Burchfield Penney, which are on display with works from Jill Spiller Underwood and her father Mortimer Spiller.