It is with sadness that l write to say that Greenwich House Pottery's former director Jane Hartsook died on January 16, 2004. Jane was director here from 1946 to 1982 and during that time she was instrumental in shaping the programs we have today, transforming the Pottery from a settlement house workshop to a resource for ceramic artists. She supported countless individuals in the field, offering many their first chance to teach or exhibit. The Jane Hartsook Gallery, named in her honor upon her retirement, opened in 1970 and was the first nonprofit venue in New York City devoted to exhibiting ceramics and challenging preconceptions about the medium, and she took the first important steps to establish the pottery's permanent collection. Jane was adored by many and honored with many prestigious awards, including honorary membership in NCECA, the Settlement Hall of Fame, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Museum of Women in the Arts. During the past few years Jane resided in Virginia with her family.
A couple of years ago, I had a dream in which I was visiting Jane's garden in upstate New York where she then lived. Jane was an avid gardener who even after her retirement would always bring the Spring's first daffodils to the office for us. In my dream I was astonished at the scope of her imagination, the flexibility of her designs, the cultivation of year-round plantings that would present an ever-changing landscape. I realized when I woke that I was the privileged one who has the blessing of tending to Jane's garden, the Pottery.
During my ten years here as Director, not a week has gone by without someone mentioning Jane. It's a reminder that each of us does make a difference in others' lives, often far beyond our perceptions. Jane made more of a difference than she could ever know, and we will continue to be blessed by her amazing vision.