David Drake was an enslaved potter in the 19th century whose incredible craftsmanship and literacy while enslaved rose him to fame upon discovery of his pots in the twenty-first century. Born in the Americas, Dave worked as a turner in pottery manufacturing facilities in South Carolina’s Edgefield District. Although dangerous for slaves to learn to read and write, Dave was literate and expressed his literacy inside his pots. His most famous inscription notes, “I wonder where is all my relation/friendship to all-and, every nation”. Dave’s pots can be found in the collections of many institutions.
On my trip to Greenville, SC I had the honor of viewing his pots at the Greenville County Museum of Art. Below find my shots of the installation that is a part of their permanent collection.