Juliana Busbee and Jugtown

Jacques and Juliana Busbee outside Jugtown with their dogs in 1938. Image from the State ArchivesOn May 10, 1876, Julia Adeline Royster was born in Raleigh.

After studying art and photography, she changed her name to the more artistic Juliana and, in 1910, married artist Jacques Busbee, also of Raleigh.  Her dedication to art led her to become Art Department Chair of the Raleigh Women’s Club in 1911 and chair of the state federation of women’s clubs in 1915. In both roles and in her other philanthropic work, she devoted her efforts toward promoting North Carolina’s handicraft traditions and advocating social good.

Two men unloading fired pottery from a kiln at Jugtown in 1938. Image from the State ArchivesIn 1915, while judging a county fair in Lexington, Busbee became enamored with a farmer’s entry, apples displayed in a dirt dish. The discovery of native pottery led her and her husband to establish Jugtown Pottery in Seagrove in 1921. With her effervescent personality and savvy marketing skills, she tirelessly promoted Jugtown’s pottery in a rustic atmosphere, fostering appreciation for and desire to own Jugtown’s wares.

Today collectors still seek out Jugtown Ware, realizing the vision of artistic entrepreneurs Juliana and Jacques Busbee, devoted to preserving North Carolina’s pottery traditions.

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