Paula Winokur (1936-2018) was a pioneer in several aspects of our clay community. Her work in porcelain was ground breaking in its emphasis on the strength and robustness of the material, rather than the traditional emphasis on its delicacy. Paula overcame sexism in her early career, being told that as a wife and mother she did not deserve a full-time teaching position. She went on to lead the ceramics program at Arcadia University, and became a mentor to countless young women as she gained well-deserved status in the field. In the last decades of her career she turned her artistic attention to environmental issues, using her beautiful sculptures to bring attention to global warming and the melting of the world’s icebergs.
Paula Winokur was born in Philadelphia, and attended Tyler School of Art where Rudolf Staffel was her teacher. At Tyler she met Robert Winokur; they married and lived with their personal and artistic lives intertwined. Paula’s work is held in major museum collections such as The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Museum of Arts and Design, The Smithsonian, the Design Museum in Helsinki, Finland, the Jingdezhen Ceramic Art Institute in China, and the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts. She received a fellowship from the NEA, and was inducted into the American Craft Council College of Fellows in 2002.
Paula was a warm and supportive person, sharing her wisdom and creativity generously. She is dearly missed on a personal level, and the world has lost her artistic voice too soon.
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