George Ohr, the Mad Potter of Biloxi

"When I am gone, my work will be praised, honored, and cherished. It will come," said George Ohr. It's only a little disconcerting when confident prophecies are entirely true.

Friends of the American Wing Fund, 1982. Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art (CC0)

George Ohr was one such prophet. The ceramic artist, born in 1857, knew he was well ahead of his time. The eccentric creator of equally eclectic ceramic pieces saw near no recognition in his life.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (CC0)

His work rarely sold, and when it did, he would chase his patrons down the street, pleading for his "clay babies" back.

(public domain)

The pieces were as much a spectacle as their maker, who sported a mustache worthy of Rapunzel's fancy.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (CC0)

Following the sale of his life's work by his son to an antiques dealer on the hunt for car parts, not crates of otherworldly pottery, his pieces landed in fancy galleries and in the hands of Andy Warhol. His reputation soared, his work was appraised at higher rates than Ohr had failed to hawk them for. Now, in fact, Biloxi's Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art bears his name. All, of course, posthumously. The fate of so many geniuses, as prognosticated by the self-styled one himself.