The Reeves Collection

Founded in 1967 with a gift of ceramics from alumnus Euchlin Reeves and his wife, the painter Louise Herreshoff, the Reeves Collection contains ceramics made in Asia, Europe, and the Americas between 1500 and today.

These fragile yet durable objects tell stories of design, technology, and trade, and illustrate how people drank, dined and decorated their homes over the past five centuries.

Search and view items from the Reeves Collection by visiting our online database. Records may at times be added or removed for editing.

Current Exhibits

Reeves 50th Catalog

"Ancient Inspirations": The Pueblo Pottery of Lorraine Gala Lewis & LaDonna Victoriano

The exhibit “Ancient Inspirations: The Pueblo Pottery of Lorraine Gala Lewis and Ladonna Victoriano” is currently on display in the Watson Pavilion at Washington and Lee.

This exhibit focuses on the work of two contemporary Native American potters from the Southwest: Lorraine Gala Lewis and LaDonna Victoriano. Some of these pieces have been lent by the artists, and others are from the collection of Joel Bernstein, W&L Class of 1957. This is the first time that Native American ceramics have been exhibited at the Reeves, and gives our students and visitors an introduction to the culture, ceramics, and potters of the pueblos of the American Southwest.

"Ancient Inspirations" will remain open through February 15, 2019.

New Accessions

Salad Bowl

Salad Bowl
Made in Jingdezhen and decorated in Guangzhou (Canton), China, 1830-1840
Made of Hard-Paste Porcelain
Gift of Bruce C. Perkins

This bowl, emblazoned with the name of the ship Red Rover, is intimately connected to the smuggling of opium into China in the 1830s. 

The Red Rover was the first of the "opium clippers," which were fast-sailing ships that carried opium from India to China.  Built in 1829 and named after the swash-buckling pirate in James Fennimore Cooper's The Red Rover, she belonged to Jardine Matheson & Company.  They were the leading British merchant house involved in the lucrative but illegal opium market. Opium made vast fortunes for a few British, American, Indian, and Chinese merchants, and created serious medical, social, and economic problems in China.  These and other issues led to the Opium War fought between Britain and China from 1839 until 1842.