Learn about the life of Abraham Spencer (about 1806–1873), a free potter of color working in a southern slave economy in the Shenandoah Valley. Son of two enslaved workers emancipated in the early 1800s, Spencer worked with some of the Valley’s most noted potters. Presented by independent scholar and potter Brenda Hornsby Heindl.
Registration required by January 30; register online or call 540-662-1473, ext. 240. Admission fee applies to visit galleries.
Brenda Hornsby Heindl is an independent scholar. She is a graduate of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and an alumna of Berea College in Kentucky. Her prior work includes head of the Ceramics Department at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates Auctions, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and the Ceramics and Glass Department at Colonial Williamsburg. In June of 2018 Brenda received a grant from the American Ceramic Circle to research Abraham Spencer and another free potter of color from Georgia, Lucius Jordan. She also lectures and presents workshops on historic ceramics, kilns, and pottery production. As a production potter, she built a wood-firing, salt-glaze kiln in 2012, and uses her studio, Liberty Stoneware, as an outlet for historic ceramics research.