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Press Releases :: 09/23/2015

Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: (518) 474-1201



Albany, New York -- 09/23/2015

The New York State Museum has announced the publication of its new book, Art for the People: Decorated Stoneware from the Weitsman Collection, featuring the Museum’s extensive collection of decorated stoneware. The book, available in limited quantity and distributed by RIT Press, is now available for purchase for $75.

Art for the People highlights more than 230 stoneware pieces from the Weitsman Collection at the New York State Museum. The book has over 340 color photographs of uniquely decorated stoneware vessels, including jugs, crocks, pitchers, and jars. The artful designs on the 19th century stoneware are considered to be prime examples of American folk art; many stoneware pieces are oversized and decorated with elaborate and unusual cobalt blue designs. A portion of the proceeds from the book’s sales will benefit the New York State Museum. The book is available for purchase through RIT Press (585-475-6766 or; a limited number of books will also be on sale in the Museum Gift Shop.

"The Weitsman collection is America’s premier collection of decorated stoneware and we’re proud to make it available to all," said State Museum Director Mark Schaming. "The Board of Regents and the State Museum are grateful that Adam Weitsman’s passion and generosity has allowed us to preserve, study, exhibit and now publish this remarkable collection of New York decorated stoneware."

The New York State Museum is home to the Weitsman Stoneware Collection, comprised of more than 370 pieces of decorated stoneware from the nineteenth century. Stoneware was the basic utilitarian ware of the time and served many useful functions, primarily in the preparation, storage and serving of food. New York State was one of the leading producers of stoneware because of its excellent transportation network. The state’s canal and turnpike systems made it possible to ship the raw materials and finished products throughout the state, allowing New York to become a leading force in stoneware production.

Adam Weitsman began his stoneware collection in 1980 at the age of eleven and has continued collecting stoneware ever since. In 1996, he began donating his collection to the New York State Museum. In 2008, the State Museum opened the exhibition "Art for the People: Decorated Stoneware from the Weitsman Collection", featuring a selection of approximately 40 pieces from the collection, most of which had never been publicly displayed. Today, the Museum regularly rotates the stoneware on display, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the variety and uniqueness of the collection.

Technical information about the book: John L. Scherer, Art for the People: Decorated Stoneware from the Weitsman Collection (Albany: New York State Museum, 2015), hardcover with dust jacket, 10.5" wide x 14.5" high, 296 pages, 341 full color photographs, ISBN 1-55557-276-6. Distributed by RIT Press, 585-475-6766,

Art for the People is distributed by RIT Press, the scholarly book publishing enterprise at the Rochester Institute of Technology. For information and to place orders call 585-475-6766, visit their website or email LMDWML@RIT.EDU.

The State Museum is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is free. Further information about programs and events can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the Museum website at



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