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MADNESS, SEX, EXHAUSTION: GEORGE OHR

In 1968 James W. Carpenter, an antiques dealer from New Jersey, was traveling through Biloxi, Mississippi, in search of veteran automobiles. He had heard about the Ohr Boys’ Auto Repair Shop, and, hoping to find an early Cadillac or perhaps a Model T Ford, he contacted the surviving Ohr children to arrange a visit. When he met them at the family warehouse he was greeted not by classic cars but by a collection of over seven thousand of the strangest and most wonderful pots he had ever seen, all crafted by George Ohr, a potter then obscure in the ranks of American ceramists. Reluctant to sell his wares to an unappreciative public, Ohr had hoarded almost his entire mature output, predicting that it would be “purchased by the entire nation,” which would then erect a temple to his genius. . . . In 1972 Carpenter made the works available for purchase. . . . [Ohr’s] return could not have been

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