Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art celebrates a legend


He was the self-proclaimed ‘Mad Potter’ of Biloxi, but there were many layers to the life of George Ohr. Just one reason why the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi is offering free admission this week to celebrate a major milestone in the renowned potter’s life.

George Ohr is a man known for his exquisite pottery as much as for his madness. Potter Karen Anderson said, “He was pretty much shunned by what would have been the arts and crafts community and I think that’s what made the fine arts community embrace him. He was a master.”

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A South Mississippi resident who felt he didn’t fit in with most circles, he was the self-proclaimed Mad Potter of Biloxi, a man who shaped the world around him according to Karen Anderson, who says she was married into Ohr’s family. “He really was a genius. He’s marketed as the Mad Potter, but he marketed that himself. He had a family. He was a genius at making himself known.”

Even now, more than 90 years after his death, people and the museum of his namesake are celebrating what would have been his 161st birthday this Thursday, July 12th. Natalea Thomson with the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art said, “We will be having free museum admission all day. We will also be extending our hours until 7 p.m.”

There are plenty of exhibits you can check out plus there will be a special appearance by the Mad Potter of Bay St. Louis. “Steve Barney will be bringing his ‘world’s most amazing pottery project’ and he’s going to be hoisting himself upside down, throwing his pottery on a wheel,” said Thomson.

You can make your own pinch pot for only $5 and check out all the museum’s exhibits from the popular Rodrigue Blue Dog exhibit to the works of the Mad Potter who also proved to be a genius at preserving and writing his own story in history.