Ron Gallas Cup Library


The aim of the Ron Gallas Cup Library is to make handmade ceramic cups more accessible to the St. Olaf community and, in doing so; build an appreciation for and awareness of the tradition of handmade functional pottery through tactile observation.

Why Here?

Minnesota is home to a rich tradition and community of ceramic artists. To them, using handmade objects is an essential way to communicate and learn from one another. While this clay hot bed exists locally, citizens often overlook the global significance of this culture because they are unfamiliar with influential clay practices in the United States.

Ron Gallas, a student of Warren MacKenzie’s and himself a Minnesota native, has long been a link to the regional ceramic legacies and community. For Ron, cups are a form of currency. He has always expressed his appreciation, gratitudes, and regrets, by placing a cup he made into another’s hand. It is because of this generous quality he possesses that the cup library will be named after Ron. It will honor his legacy and commitment to ceramics at St. Olaf College.


Inaugural cups purchased from Northern Clay Center

Why now?

The digital age is slowly disintegrating the connection we have to quality handmade objects for daily life. We find that many students have never used a handmade cup. They cannot remember the last time a cup enhanced their drinking experience and made them more aware or attentive to what and how they are consuming. As well, many students are also unable to name a historically significant or contemporary ceramic artist.

Click here to see artists in the collection.

If you have questions about the library please feel free to email them to