CHARLESTON, W.Va. – On July 5, the chief curator at the West Virginia State Museum will share his knowledge about a china company in Grafton that made dishware for restaurants, hotels, hospitals and state parks from the 1910s until 1953.
James R. Mitchell will present “Decorating Carr China” as part of an ongoing series of after-hours lectures hosted by the West Virginia Archives and History Library of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
Carr China Co. made all types of dishware. Among the designs the company produced are Grafton, Rho-Dendra, Willow, and Glo-Tan. Its specialty items include the 1936 Tygart River Reservoir Dam dedication plate and the 1952 Philippi Covered Bridge centennial celebration plate.

Mitchell has been a professional decorative arts and technological history curator for 50 years. In addition to the West Virginia State Museum, he has worked for state museums in Wisconsin, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as The Bennington (Vt.) Museum and the former Carborundum Museum of Ceramics in Niagara Falls, New York. He has also been a museum director twice. In his spare time, Mitchell is a woodworker who likes to sing and play bass instruments.

The July 5 lecture begins at 6 p.m. in the archives library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The program is free and open to the public.

The library will close at 5 p.m. and reopen at 5:45 p.m. for participants only. To register in advance, contact library manager Robert Taylor by e-mail at or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

The next lecture in the series is set for Aug. 2, when Travis Henline will present “The Resurgence of Anikituhwa: Language and Cultural Revitalization among the Eastern Band Cherokee.”

The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.