UND Pottery Collection


Artist Bio

Marcia Bisbee was born in 1876 in Monroe County, Michigan to Horace Bisbee and Salome Evelina Stevens (later remarried as Williams). Horace and Salome had two other children after Marcia, Horace in 1879 (died 1880) and Eliza Ellen (Aiston) in 1841.

Bisbee began attending UND around 1894. She was a student assistant in the Chemistry department working in the laboratories, and eventually earned a BA from UND in 1898. The following year, she was hired into the Chemistry department during a period of its expansion as an instructor. Bisbee received an MA from UND in Chemistry, French, and German in 1900. Bisbee taught at the University and acted as the University Museum’s curator and Assistant in Mining Research until 1911 when she moved to the Ceramics department. She was active in pottery making and much of her work is still at the University today.

Bisbee took a leave-of-absence for the 1912-13 academic year and moved with her mother, Salome Williams, to the Lemke Land Colony in Concha Sinaloa, where William Lemke managed colonization there for Americans. After a year, they were driven out of the colony due to the Mexican Revolution and relocated to the California-Mexico border in hopes of returning to Sinaloa. It was in California where Bisbee fell ill with TB shortly after the relocation. She died shortly after, during the 1918 flu epidemic at age 41. She never married and was buried alongside her father in Benson County, ND. Her mother moved back to North Dakota after her death and lived to be 95 years old.

Sources: Newspapers, The University Bulletin, UND Chemistry Departmental History, Photograph Collection, Biennial Report of the University of North Dakota, Cemetery Site for M-Bisbee, Cemetery Site for H-Bisbee, Cemetery Site for Williams


image preview

Creation Date


Date of Work


Identification #

C MSC 275-0848


Unglazed bisque leaf. Earliest know pottery made at UND Chemistry Dept.(similar to: C MSC 096-0690)

Art Descriptors

ceramics (objects); brown (color); leaf (plant material); flat (form attributes)

UND Seal


Cable Seal


Other Seals and Stamps


Identifying Markings

Bisbee 1904 etched Chipped Similar to C MSC 96-690



Condition Notes

Two chips in front bottom


Stored: UND Pottery Collection Box 26


UND Art Collections Repository


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