Aurelia Coralie Arbo
Newcomb College Newcomb Ceramicist
(New Orleans LA, 1909 - 1993)
Aurelia Josephine Coralie Arbo was born in New Orleans on November 29, 1909, to Henry Arthur Arbo, a piano tuner, and Henrietta Caroline Geier. She was one of nine children.
Arbo began her studies at Newcomb in 1927, receiving a Bachelor of Design in 1931. After graduation, she worked as a decorator at the Pottery until its closure in 1940. She was paid a salary of $50 a month (the equivalent to $940.00 in today market) as well as a commission of one-third for her artworks sold at the Newcomb Art School’s salesroom.
Her pottery piece "Elephant" was exhibited at the Contemporary Crafts Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1937 and was selected to be included at the Paris Exposition in 1938. Two of her ceramic bowls, "Peacock Feathers" and "Butterfly Wings," were exhibited at the Seventh National Ceramic Exhibition at the Syracuse New York Museum of Fine Arts and later in the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco.
Toward the end of 1939, former Newcomb ceramicist Paul E. Cox hired Arbo to work as a decorator at his own pottery business in Harahan, Louisiana. There, she decorated ceramic objects in the Newcomb style. However, Cox’s pottery failed, and in lieu of payment Arbo was given the works she produced back to her. The job, however, gave Arbo credit towards obtaining her Louisiana teacher’s certificate, which we was awarded in 1943.
The New Orleans Public School system hired Arbo as an art teacher in the Eleanor McMain Secondary School and L. E. Rabouin Vocational High School. An October 15, 1948 Times Picayune article featured a story on Rabouin’s new course offering, art interior decoration, where Arbo was listed as the instructor.
Arbo died in 1993.