Author Profile
Mel Buchanan

Mel Buchanan has been the RosaMary curator of decorative arts and design at the New Orleans Museum of Art since 2013, where she has curated original exhibitions, including Personalities in Clay: American Studio Ceramics from the E. John Bullard Collection (2017), Atomic #13: Aluminum in 20th-Century Design (2021), and Katherine Choy: Radical Potter in 1950s New Orleans (2022). In 2018, she completed the reinstallation of the decorative arts galleries, including 20th-century design, for the first time in NOMA's history. Buchanan serves on the boards of The Decorative Arts Trust and the American Ceramic Circle. Previously, Buchanan worked at the RISD Museum and at the Milwaukee Art Museum and earned a BA from Yale University and an MA from the Winterthur Program in American material culture. Mel lives in New Orleans with her husband and two children.


Katherine Choy in New Orleans, 1952–1955. Photo courtesy Robinson Archive. Jack Robinson, photographer (American, 1928–1997).
I believe that the artist-potter should question life. This requires a continuous breaking down and summarizing to express, to relate, to find one place and move with one’s own time, yet keep a universal entity. – Katherine Choy