These last couple of weeks have been SUPER special: So honored to work with the one and only Irma Starr on her commemorative platter for Lynn Nichols for her exceptional contributions to the field of World War II-Era Art Provenance Research. Irma Starr is a 17th-century slipware artist, based here in Kansas City. She is an expert on all of the classic underglaze techniques: combing, feathering, marbling, and slip-trailing. Starr has been commissioned by private connoisseurs, museums, companies, and Hillary Clinton commissioned her to make a commemorative plate for the Clintons’ 25th wedding anniversary.

Working with Irma Starr on the commemorative platter for Lynn Nicholas, I applied German Gold Luster on some of the lettering and decorations: The traditional checker pattern found on many historic English Slipware dishes as well as The Smithsonian “Sun” logo reaffirms its unity of purpose: One Under the Sun.

Lynn Nichols was honored for her exceptional contributions to the field of World War II-Era Art Provenance Research. Nicholas is the author of the book “The Rape of Europa” where she explores the Nazi plunder of looted art treasures from occupied countries and the consequences. It covers a range of associated activities: Nazi appropriation and storage, patriotic concealment and smuggling during World War II, discoveries by the Allies, and the extraordinary tasks of preserving, tracking and returning by the American Monuments officers and their colleagues. Nicholas was awarded the Légion d’Honneur by France. Despite the regular accounts of impending destruction of art works, Nicholas also recounts a veneration for art on the part of people of all sides of the conflict, and what amounts to desperate and sometimes heroic activity. The villains, unsurprisingly, are often the Nazis, particularly Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring; however, the activities of Western art dealers are often questionable, as well.

On stage, left to right: Jane Milosch from the Smithsonian Institution’s Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP), Lynn Nicholas, author of “The Rape of Europa”, Irma Starr, Potter and Slipware Artist, and MacKenzie Mallon, the Nelson-Atkins provenance specialist, holding the commemorative plate I was lucky enough to work on. Thank you, Irma!!