February 22, 2024
2 minute read

Crocker Art Museum Appoints Sara Morris as New Ruth Rippon Curator of Ceramics

Sara Morris, Ruth Rippon Curator of Ceramics at the Crocker Art Museum.

Sacramento, Ca., February 22, 2024 — The Crocker Art Museum is delighted to announce Sara Morris as the Ruth Rippon Curator of Ceramics. Morris’s duties will include research into the collection, acquiring artworks for the Museum’s permanent collection, and organizing contemporary and historic ceramics exhibitions and publications. Morris’s curatorial objectives and scholarly values align with the Crocker’s commitment to collecting, preserving, and furthering scholarship on ceramic art. 

“I’m honored to be selected as the next Ruth Rippon Curator of Ceramics and thrilled to return to this dynamic region with an incredibly rich history of ceramic art,” Morris shares. “I look forward to collaborating with artists and colleagues to offer new perspectives on the Crocker’s vast ceramics collections and to broadening the way we tell stories of art.”  

Morris comes to the Crocker after working in museums and regional community galleries focused on modern and contemporary art, craft, and design across the country, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.    

“We are so pleased to have someone with Sara’s commitment to, and passion for, the art of clay,” states Scott A. Shields, the Crocker’s Ted and Melza Barr Chief Curator and Associate Director. “Not only has she focused her research on ceramics, she has specifically concentrated on California’s contributions to the medium. At the same time, she brings a wealth of knowledge related to the broader field of ceramics and other craft media due to her tenure at the Renwick.” 

Morris is currently a PhD candidate in the History of Art & Architecture Department with a doctoral emphasis in feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation, “Clay Bodies: Figurative Ceramics and the Crafting of Identity in Postwar Sculpture,” examines the methods postwar women artists pursued in figurative ceramics, pushing against the limits of the vessel tradition and Funk to render themselves and their communities visible on the West Coast.   

Originally from Aptos, California, Morris’s material and regional interests stem from her dual training in art history and ceramic sculpture as an undergraduate, as well as her early curatorial experience as a Windgate Museum intern in the Decorative Arts & Design Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Morris notes, “I was lucky to study under ceramics professors and have mentors in my life who were incredible teachers. They shared their knowledge of ceramics and studio craft with me, areas often overlooked in canonical narratives of art.”   

Morris holds an MA in art history and visual culture from San Jose State University (2017), where she also received her BA in art history with a minor in studio art.