Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Teapot, Memory of Love

  • Artist:

    Poor, Henry Varnum

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1887–1970

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Tin-glazed earthenware

  • Dimensions:

    6 1/2 x 9 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Burneta Adair Endowment Fund

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

Henry Varnum Poor was born in Chapman, Kansas in 1887. He attended Stanford, majoring in art, and graduating in 1911. He stayed on to teach art at Stanford. In 1929 Henry decided to become a potter. He was a self-taught potter and only when he was older, he hired an assistant to help knead the clay. He made his own wheel and tools. All the pieces of the tea set were made in 1940 from Haversack clay. Haversack is in Rockland County on the Hudson River. Haversack clay is a red clay used to make bricks. Poor dug his own clay and made his own glazes.

The Poor Family Tea set comprises 25 pieces executed in 1940. They are tin-glazed earthenware made by Henry Varnum in his studio at Crow House, New City. The set is composed of 11 saucers, 9 cups, 2 teapots, 1 creamer, and 2 bowls.

One of the teapots commemorates (Henry’s mother) Bessie’s first novel In Name Only. The scene on the teapot depicts Bessie writing inside Crow House the Poor home in Rockland County, New York.

The Poor family spent winter months on Marco Island off the west coast of Florida below Naples. The second teapot commemorates The Daughter Bessie Poor’s second novel that takes place on Marco Island at the Marco Lodge. The scene on the teapot depicts a nude man and woman embracing.