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Based in Anna, Illinois, Anna Pottery was created in the mid-1800s by brothers Cornwall and Wallace Kirkpatrick. Using "kaolin," a creamy, yellow clay in abundance in the area, the Kirkpatrick brothers decided to invest their interest and time in creating clay-based pieces for everyday use. They also used the clay to create pottery that expressed their opinions on politics and social issues.
With various phrases engraved on the collectable wares, some items were intended as raunchy pranks, as in the case of their mugs. Others go beyond mere humorous repulsion to provide a doorway to understanding the political, economic, and social life of Illinois in the late 19th century. From snake jugs to pig flasks, the brothers' creations are now recognized as highly coveted and extremely collectible pieces of art.
WSIU's Debby Whitlatch reports from two museums in our area that feature collections of the pottery and found some people who were very eager to talk about it.
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