The Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation is a national foundation dedicated to gathering historical information and items, presenting these to the public in informative ways, and preserving this cultural heritage specifically as these relate to the pottery industry that thrived in Red Wing, Minnesota. No other group has this as their primary mission. The Foundation also works to enhance the public’s knowledge and appreciation for pottery as an art form and an important part of American culture. The idea for the RWCS Foundation originated from the Vision Committee of the RWCS. A special committee of RWCS members formally established the Foundation in 2000. An independent, volunteer, thirteen-member Board of Directors elects thirteen directors to staggered three-year terms. The Foundation is recognized as a federally tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Foundation maintains a pottery museum in Red Wing, Minnesota located in the Pottery Place Annex across a parking lot from the Minnesota Stoneware Company building where pottery was manufactured until Red Wing Potteries closed in 1967. An extensive representation of characteristic and rare stoneware, art pottery, and dinnerware items produced by the pottery industry of Red Wing is displayed and preserved here. The Museum also contains an important collection of memorabilia, vintage photographs, and products related to this industry to provide for current and future educational experiences and scholarly endeavors consistent with the mission of the Foundation. The Museum receives items through tax-deductible gifts and, on occasion, through loans. The Foundation works to preserve all of the original elements of the former Minnesota Stoneware Company building such as the tunnel kiln and boiler. They also are attempting to preserve land adjacent to this building, the “pottery dump”, that holds pottery items discarded by the pottery manufacturers over many decades. The Foundation endeavors to provide information about the role of Red Wing stoneware, art pottery, and dinnerware in American history and culture to broaden public knowledge. This effort includes community outreach programs, didactic sessions, educational videos, displays, and walking tours. The Foundation encourages and supports scholarly activity that would result in new knowledge and publications. The Foundation gives scholarships to students who are studying in areas of ceramic history, ceramic engineering, or pottery making.
To learn more about the RWCS Foundation and the Pottery Museum, please contact them at 651-327-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org or online at potterymuseumredwing.org