Georgia Harris Photograph
Georgia Harris was born on July 29, 1905 in Lancaster County, South Carolina, not far from the Catawba Indian Reservation. At the time her father, James Harris was a county paid ferryman on the Catawba River. His ferry provided the only way to cross the river from York to Lancaster County. Georgia attended the Catawba School on the Reservation. Georgia learned pottery at the age of nine from her mother, Margaret Harris, and her grandmother, Martha Jane Harris. Pottery trade grew in importance to the family when Georgia's father passed in 1912. Her mother, grandmother, sister, and herself all worked in the clay and sold pottery. At age 21, Georgia married fellow tribal member, William Douglas Harris and reared 2 sons. While raising children, Georgia continued to make pottery to sell. As the tribe's economic conditions improved, Georgia began to make pottery simply out of joy. In 1952, a vessel by Georgia won first prize at the York County Fair. In 1979, Georgia exhibited and demonstrated at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery. In 1997, Georgia was selected to receive the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts. Sadly, she passed before the fellowship could be awarded.
Catawba Indian Reservation