Manuel Eugene Jalanivich (1898 - 1944)


[Courtesy of Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock]


1897-Born on June 24th, at Biloxi, Mississippi, son of Luca Jalanivich (1866-1902) and Manuella Morranna (1859-1929).

1902- Luca Jalanivich expired at Biloxi on August 20, 1902, from heat prostration.

1905-Mrs. Manuella M. Jalanivich married Francisco Mueso (1860-1940), a Spanish immigrant, at Biloxi on November 18th.

1903-1914-Manuel E. Jalanivich studied art in the Biloxi public school system with Miss Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952).  She had training in oils and watercolor with J.H. Twatchman (1853-1902) and Kenyon Cox (1856-1919) of New York City, among others.

1910?-1912?-Studied pottery with George E. Ohr (1857-1918), “The Mad Potter” of Biloxi. 

1915-Operated his own pottery booth on Howard Avenue next to Keller's Barbershop.

1917?-Studied at the Niloak Pottery in Benton, Arkansas.

1918-1919-Enlisted in the US Navy at New Orleans, Louisiana on March 28, 1918. Stationed at Newport, Rhode Island.  Discharged here on March 12, 1919, with the rating of Seaman 2nd Class.

1919-1921? Durant Kilns to study with Leon Volkmar (1879-1959) at the Bedford Village Pottery, Westchester County, New York City.  Here he met his life long companion, Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959), a 1908 Danish immigrant from Copenhagen who had been trained as a technician at the Royal Danish Copenhagen Chinese Kilns.

1921?-Jalanivich and Olsen went to Central America and worked in Panama for awhile.

1922-Moved to San Francisco.

1925- Taught a short pottery course at the National Academy of Design in Honolulu, Hawaii.   

1927-Jalanivich showed several pieces of his California pottery at the 1st Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit held at the Biloxi Public Library in February.

1929-Jalanivich’s mother expired in July on Lameuse Street at Biloxi, Mississippi.

1937-1939-Taught at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, now the San Francisco Art Institute.  Jalanivich instructed his students primarily

1938- Jalanivich-Olsen commenced a ceramics school for women in the San Francisco Bay area.

1939-Jalanivich and Olsen works, a bowl and table pieces on loan from the S.G. Gump Company of San Francisco, displayed at the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition.  Closed San Francisco studio and moved to Belmont, California.

1940-Moved to Belmont, California and built a home in rural setting at 901 Holly Road.

1942-1943 Jalanivich and Olsen taught art and pottery to recovering wounded American veterans of the South Pacific theatre at the Letterman Hospital in Presidio at San Francisco.

1944-Expired at Belmont, San Mateo County, California on June 15, 1944.  Buried at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.


Jalanivich bust

(courtesy of Maxine McGraw Palmer.  Image by Mary Himel Wichmann-2002)


MANUEL E. JALANIVICH (1897-1944): Biloxi’s Bootblack Potter

Manuel Eugene Jalanivich who was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on June 24, 1897, the son of Luca Gevenilovich, Genovish, Givulinovich or Giovulnovich (1861-1902), anglicized to Jalanivich, and Manuella Morrano (1858-1929), often spelled Morano.  He was baptized Emmanuel Genovish (sic) in the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Biloxi, on December 25, 1897.(Lepre, 1991, p. 131)

In the 1900 Federal Census of Harrison County, Mississippi, Luca Jalanivich listed Austria as his country of origin, which indicates that he was probably a Croatian immigrant.  Family lore relates that Luca may have come from Trieste.  Jalanivich had been in the United States for ten years.  Mrs. Jalanivich was born at New Orleans, Louisiana of Louisiana born parents, although in the 1910 Federal Census, they are listed as being French.  In 1900, the Jalanivich family resided on Croesus Street in Biloxi, Mississippi.(1900 Federal Census Harrison County, Ms., p. 46 and Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock, January 11, 2002)            

Manuel Jalanivich and Mauella Morano Jalanivich Mueso (1858-1929) in the redwoods of California

[Courtesy of Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock]

Luca and Manuella Jalanivich married at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother Roman Catholic Church in Biloxi, Mississippi on October 13, 1894.   They were also the parents of John Matthew Jalanivich (1895-1967) and Mary Amelia Louise J. Sablich (1900-1991).(Lepre, 1991, p. 132 and  HARCO, Ms. MRB 10, p. 264) 

In 1902, Luca Jalanivich was employed as a cook.  He expired from a heat stroke on August 20, 1902.  His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 22, 1902, p. 6)

Francisco Mueso

On November 18, 1905, Mrs. Manuella M. Jalanivich married Francisco Mueso (1860-1940) at Biloxi.  Frank Mueso was a native of Spain.  At Biloxi, he made his livelihood as a fisherman at an oyster factory.  In 1914, the Muesos were living at 519 Lameuse Street.(The Biloxi Herald, November 20, 1905, p. 4,  The Biloxi City Directory, 1914, p. 155, and 1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms., p. 266)         

Early art training

At an early age, Manuel E. Jalanivich demonstrated an artistic ability, which was observed in his Biloxi public school classroom by Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952).  Miss Dismukes, the daughter of George Dismukes (d. 1909) and Adella McDonald (1846-1924), was a native of Pulaski, Tennessee.  She came to Biloxi in 1897, with her family.  Mary Ethel, called Ethel, was an artist and photographer.  She made her livelihood as the supervisor of arts for the Biloxi Public Schools, until her retirement in May 1914.  As early as 1910, Ethel Dismukes taught art classes on a private basis.  As late as May 1949, she was having public displays in Biloxi of her student’s work in pencil, wax crayons, oil, and watercolor.( The Daily Herald, May 30, 1910, May 22, 1914, p. 2, and  May 31, 1949, p. 5)

Miss Dismukes worked in oil, watercolor and ceramics.  Her art education was with John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902) and Kenyon Cox (1856-1919) of New York City, Louis Loeb (1866-1909) and Clifford Carlton (1867-1946).  She was an active member of the Gulf Coast Art Association, New Orleans Art Association, Nashville Art Association, among others.  Ethel Dismukes had art studios at Pulaski, Tennessee, San Antonio, Texas, and New York City.(Sutton, 1929, pp. 168-169)

It is apparent that Manuel Jalanivich was enrolled as a private art pupil of Miss Dismukes prior to May 1913.  At this time, she held a display of her students’ works in china painting, charcoal, and watercolor.  It was described as,“one of the most attractive and artistic exhibits that has ever been arranged in Biloxi.”  Of Miss Dismukes’ twenty pupils, nineteen were female, young Jalanivich being the lone male.  He was described as, “Biloxi’s talented little bootblack artist.”(The Daily Herald, May 21, 1913, p. 8)

Biloxi School days

Manuel Jalanivich began to win recognition and awards for his artwork in the Biloxi Central School as early as the seventh grade.  The Thanksgiving holiday of 1913 was celebrated in the public school with songs, recitations, and dances.  Jalanivich’s contribution to the program, which was well lauded, was a series of illustrations depicting scenes from the daily regimen of the Pilgrims.  As each picture was shown to the student audience, an appropriate paragraph was read describing the action.(The Daily Herald, April 11, 1914, p. 8 and December 4, 1913, p. 6)

In mid-May 1914, Miss Dismukes of Biloxi public school art department, held an exhibition of student arts and crafts in the Central school art room.  Pupils from both the high school and primary schools of the city had their art on review for their family and friends.  A highlight of the student exhibition was a three-masted vessel built by Manuel Jalanivich.  The model ship was about 1 ½ feet in length.  During the past winter, Jalanivich had sold more than $30 of his sketches and paintings.(The Daily Herald, May 22, 1914, p. 1)

Souvenir pamphlet

In the spring of 1914, Manual Jalanivich was preparing a small book on Biloxi.  His marvelous watercolor illustrations were of Biloxi landmarks and scenes: Beauvoir; the Biloxi Lighthouse; the new Biloxi High School; the Elks Club; the U.S. Post Office; the Back Bay bridge; the Biloxi Yacht Club; the Country Club; the Biloxi Hotel; Benachi Avenue; East Beach; West Beach; Back Bay; Beach piers; large watermelons; Piney Woods; and a private yacht.  Jalanivich’s narrative of Biloxi was excellently illustrated in calligraphy.(The Daily Herald, April 11, 1914, p. 8)      

George E. Ohr Jr.-Joseph Fortune Meyer

In addition to Miss Dismukes, another artistic neighbor of the Jalanivich family was George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), “The Mad Potter” of Biloxi.  Ohr’s art pottery was situated on Delauney Street, only 500 feet, as the crow flies, from the Jalanivich residence at 519 Lameuse Street.   Here on the west side of Lameuse Street near the corner of McElroy Street, the Mueso-Jalanivich family resided in a “double shot-gun house”. (Sanborn Map-Biloxi 1914, Sheet-6)

A young Manuel Jalanivich was taken in by Ohr, the retired genius potter, and taught to use the potter’s wheel.  Manuel worked as a shoeshine boy on the streets of Biloxi possibly to succor his family or buy art supplies.  Joseph Fortune Meyer (1848-1931), the tutor and sponsor of George E. Ohr and master potter at Newcomb College, also resided at Biloxi during Jalanivich’s adolescent years.(Evans, 1973, p. 24 and The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11)

Pottery booth

In March 1915, Manual Jalanivich opened a pottery booth on Howard Avenue next to Keller's Barbershop.  The young potter made his wares at his home on Reynoir Street.  Here he had a lathe [potter's wheel] and had built an oven [kiln] for burning [firing] his green ware.  Jalanivich acquired his clay on Back Bay and up the Tchoutacabouffa River, as did George E. Ohr.(The Daily Herald, March 13, 1915, p. 2)

Niloak in Arkansas

Circa 1917, Manuel Jalanivich left Biloxi to study at the Niloak Pottery, which was situated at Benton, Arkansas about fifteen miles southwest of Little Rock.  Niloak is a palindrome of kaolin.  The Arkansas pottery was named for the fine deposits of very, pale, white clay found here.  Post Civil War, John Hyten began potting here making utilitarian items for local farmers and families such as, jugs, crocks, and butter churns.  His sons, Paul, Charles, and Lee Hyten continued the business.(The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11 and hhtp://www.geocities.com/niloakpottery)

WW I (1918-1919)

After a year in Arkansas, Manuel Jalanivich enlisted in the US Navy on March 28, 1918, at New Orleans.  He trained for military duty at Newport, Rhode Island.  While there, he made the acquaintance of a wealthy patron who was enamored with his artistic creativity and exceptional ceramic forms.  Unfortunately, she expired during his tenure in Rhode Island, but her correspondence to the “Bedford Village Pottery” in New York, where he later found employment.  In March 1919, Jalanivich was discharged from the US Navy at Newport with the rating of Seaman 2ndClass.(National Archives and Records Administration-Military record and The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11)

Durant Kilns (1919-1920)

The Durant Kilns were located at Bedford Village, New York.  Mrs. Jean Durant Rice, the wife of a wealthy ophthalmologist, sponsored this Westchester County pottery, lead by American master potter, Leon Volkmar (1879-1959).  Volkmar came from a family of artisans.  His father, Charles Volkmar II, was a renowned painter and potter, while Leon Volmar’s grandfather, known as Carl Volkmar, specialized in portraiture.(Cloutier and Schmid, 1985, pp. 3-4) 

It was at the Durant Kilns that Manuel Jalanivich’s would met the two men, Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959) and Leon Volkmar, who would most deeply influence his personal as well as creative life.  With Ingvardt Olsen, Jalanivich formed a life long bond that would result in their harmonious enterprise, the Jalan Pottery at San Francisco and Belmont, California.  Arguably, Leon Volkmar was the dominant artistic influence in Manuel’s Jalanivich’s brief but prolific ceramic career.  It was from Volkmar that he adopted his interest in the ancient pottery styles of the Orient and Mediterranean basin.  Like Volmar, Jalanivich would also flourish as a teacher of ceramics.              

The Biloxi News reported that while employed at the Durant Kilns, Manuel E. Jalanivich worked on a $3,000 pottery project for a Vanderbilt dinner.  This is corroborated as table and art ware were significant products of Durant from its conception until the demise of Mrs. Rice in 1919.  After her death, Leon Volkmar’s work at the Durant Kilns became more like studio pottery.  As with George “No two alike” E. Ohr Jr., duplication was not Volkmar’s modus operandi.(The Biloxi New, February 13, 1927, p. 11 and Cloutier and Schmid, 1985, p. 4)

Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959) and Jalanivich-April 1973

Ingvardt Olsen

While at the Durant Kilns in eastern New York, Manuel Jalanivich met Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959).  Olsen was a native of Copenhagen, Denmark and had studied at the Royal Danish Copenhagen Chinese Kilns. He came to the United States in 1908.  Jalanivich and Olsen became close friends and eventually settled together at San Francisco where Olsen had been an interior decorator.(The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11)


Manuel E. Jalanivich and Ingvardt Olsen left San Francisco on March 1, 1924 aboard the SS President Adams for Honolulu, Hawaii and taught ceramics for several weeks at the National Academy of Design.(Crew Lists of Vessels arriving at Honolulu August 1912-November 1954, A3422 R 75 and The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 1)

1927 Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit

The Gulf Coast Art Association, which was led by Professor William Woodward (1859-1939) and Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952), held its first exhibit at the Biloxi Public Library from February 4th until February 20th, 1927.  The show, which was composed of oil paintings, water colors, pastels, lithographic drawings, block prints, sculpture, photography, pottery, metal work, and embroidery, was juried by Will H. Stevens of Newcomb College at New Orleans, Sarah K. Smith of Gulf Park College at Gulfport, Mississippi, and Edmund C. DeCelle of Mobile.(The Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 2)

Those exhibiting at the Biloxi show were: Peter Anderson (1901-1984)-Ocean Springs; Gertrude Burton(Ocean Springs); Grace Cheeseman (Gulfport); Alethia B. Clemens (Biloxi); Edmund C. DeCelle (Mobile); Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952)-Biloxi; Camille J. Ehrenfels (NOLA); Robert H. Holmes (1869-1949)-Ocean Springs; Dorothy Hopkins (Biloxi); Charles W. Hutson (Biloxi); Charles E. Hultberg (1874-1948)-(Biloxi); Manuel E. Jalanivich (1898-1944)-Biloxi/California; Louise Mallard (1900-1975)-Biloxi); William H. Muir (Gulfport); Anne Wells Munger (Pass Christian); Christine Northrop (Pass Christian); Mrs. Granville Osoinach (Gulfport); Sarah K. Smith (Gulfport); Miss C.R. Tibb (Biloxi); Clara Tucker (Biloxi); Alice Walsh (Gulfport); Louise Giesen Woodward (1862-1937)-Biloxi; and William Woodward (1859-1939)-Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1927, p. 5)

On opening night of the juried exhibition, the winning artists selected by the three jurors were as follows: Gold Medal sponsored by The Peoples Bank for the best oil painting, “A Western Scene”, by Charles E. Hultberg; Gold Medal given by the Biloxi City Commissioners for the best Mississippi coast scene, “Our Street”; by William Woodward; and Ribbon for honorable mention was won by Edmund C. DeCille for “Mardi Gras”(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1927, p. 5)

On February 8, 1927, three pieces of Jalan pottery for the Biloxi exhibit arrived from California.  They consisted of a large jardinière worth $150.00, and two pieces, a light blue bowl and a small jar, valued at $20.00 apiece. These works of Manuel Jalanivich were lauded for their form, color, and glazing.  The ceramic art of Peter Anderson of the Shearwater Pottery at Ocean Springs was also praised.(The Daily Herald, February 9, 1927, p. 2)

The final award for the first Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit was given by The First National Bank on the basis of votes placed by visitors to the show.  The Gold Medal for the “most popular picture” was won by Miss Mary Ethel Dismukes for The Burden Bearer”.  Professor Woodward’s large oil painting of potters, Joseph Meyer and George Ohr, placed second.  Miss Dismukes photograph titled “Sunshine and Shadow” was third in popularity.  Woodward’s painting of two of the Biloxi Boys hangs in the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum at Biloxi, on loan from the Biloxi Library.(The Daily Herald, February 21, 1927, p. 2)

Mother’s death

Mrs. Manuella M. J. Mueso expired at the residence of her daughter, Mary L. Sablich, on July 1, 1929.  Mrs. Julius Sablich lived at 629 Lameuse Street.  Manuella was a Roman Catholic and member of the Woman’s Benefit Association.  Her survivors were: Francisco Mueso, John Jalanivich of Biloxi, Manuel Jalanivich of San Francisco, and Mary L. Sablich.  Manuel Jalanivich was touring in Mexico at the time of his mother’s demise.(The Daily Herald, July 2, 1929, p. 12)

Jalanivich on his potter's wheel

[Courtesy of Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock]

Jalan Pottery

Jalan Pottery was the name chosen by Jalanivich and Olsen to produce commercial ceramic ware in California.  It was identified by its large scale, simple form, color, style, and crackled glaze.  Jalanivich created wheel-thrown forms and also did extensive clay modeling, while Ingvardt Olsen specialized in glazing.  Olsen’s Persian or faience blue and “egg-plant” glazes were well accepted.  W.F. Dietrich in 1928, described the Jalan Pottery as:  Jalanivich and Olsen are making an attractive line of glazed pottery using a buff-burning body and lead glazes.  Their output is hand-molded on a potter’s wheel.  It is fired in a round kiln, approximately 3 feet inside diameter of their own design and built by the gas company, city gas being used for fuel.  The clay, from California sources, is fired to 2000 F and the glaze to 1500-1700 F. 

In June 1941, The American Home, a monthly magazine published from 1928-1977 by Nelson Doubleday, featured an article-'What's Happening in the USA', which was very complimentary of the Jalan Pottery ceramics.  It related Jalanivich's boyhood Biloxi mentors, Miss Dismukes and George E. Ohr, and the struggles that he and Olsen indured to establish their name in the California commercial market.  They spent almost nine years experimenting and perfecting the Jalan glazes that made their ceramic wares a treasure to buyers and now collectors.(The Daily Herald, June 11, 1941, p. 7)

Jalanivich and Olsen marketed their ceramics well.  In addition to their Bay area patronage, Gumps Department Store in San Francisco vended Jalan Pottery.  Jalan’s adaptation to a Chinese-style form met with great success in San Francisco, as many affluent citizens were decorating their domiciles with teak furniture, Coromandel screens, lacquered chests, and Middle Eastern of Oriental rugs.(Bray, 1980, p. 43)

1929-1939 Depression years

Jalanivich and Olsen were kind spirited gentlemen, as they believed that they had the responsibility to share their experience and knowledge with others.  For this and financial reasons they taught private studio lessons on one day or evening each week from 1929 to 1938.  Students worked in clay modeling utilizing slab and coil techniques as well as molds.  (Bray, 1980, p. 43)

1932-1933 South Sea Islands

In March 1933, Mary Jalanivich Sablich, Manuel's siter, received a letter from Manuel relating that he had spent eight months in the South Sea Islands and would be returning to his San Francisco studio by April 10, 1933.(The Daily Herald, March 20, 1933, p. 2)

San Francisco Art Institute

Manuel Jalanivich taught at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute, from 1937 to 1939.  In 1937, he and Ingvardt Olsen commenced a ceramics school for women at their Baker Street home in San Francisco.  Their students ranged from socialites to schoolgirls.  Jalanivich said of his pupils: “most find a deep joy in working with their hands.  School teachers, weary of tussles with youngsters, come and find a curious peace in attempting to express some kind of beauty.”(Evans, 1973, p. 25 and The San Francisco Chronicle, November 1, 1937)

Vivika T. Heino

Vivika Timeriasieff Heino (1910-1995) who would later marry Otto Heino was a student of Jalanivich at the California School of Fine Arts.  Vivika also took private classes with him.  She went on to study with Glen Lukens (1887-1967) at USC and was awarded the second MFA degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1944.  Vivika and her husband, Otto Heino (b. 1915) were honored in October 1995, with an exhibit, “The Vivika and Otto Heino Retrospective”, which was held at Alfred University.  She had taught pottery to Otto Heino (b. 1915) and they eventually married and settled at Ojai, Ventura County, California.  Today in California, Otto continues his highly praised ceramic work.(Bray, 1980, p. 43 and www.ottospottery.com and http:nyscc.alfred.edu/mus/heino)

Belmont, California

In 1939, Olsen and Jalanivich closed their San Francisco ceramic operation and relocated to the sleepy, “Peninsula” town of Belmont, San Mateo County, California with a population of only three thousand.  Here, they built a modest home in 1940, at 901 Holly Road.  Their domicile is extant and situated in a quasi-rural, hillside environment, surrounded by over twenty-five thousand people, with a view of San Francisco Bay.(San Mateo County Auditor’s Records and Joan M. Levy, January 9, 2002)    

A review of the telephone books of Belmont, California from 1938 until 1946, reveal that the names of Jalanivich and Olsen first appeared in the white pages there in September 1941.  The listing is Jalanivich & Olsen Pottery on Holly Road, phone number 1264.  In March 1943, their listing was Manuel E. Jalanivich Holly Road, phone number 1264 and Ingvardt Olsen, same phone number.  After June 1945, there is no listing for either men.(Joan M. Levy, January 9, 2002)


Manuel E. Jalanivich and Ingvardt Olsen taught art and pottery to recovering wounded American veterans of the South Pacific theatre at the Letterman Hospital in the Presidio at San Francisco.(Evans, 1973, p. 25)


Manuel Jalanivich expired at Belmont, California on June 15, 1944.  There are inconsistencies in the reporting of the cause and place of his death.  The Courier Bulletin, a local journal, related that he expired “in a Belmont sanitarium after a long illness”while The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that his death was “at his Belmont home following a brief illness” In Biloxi, Mississippi, Jalanivich’s demise was reported by The Daily Herald as a sudden heart attack at his home in Belmont, California.( The Courier BulletinJune 23, 1944, The San Francisco Chronicle, June 21, 1944, and The Daily Herald, June 19, 1944, p. 6)

On June 15, 1944, Manuel Jalanivich’s corporal remains were interred in Section N of the Woodlawn Memorial Park cemetery at Colma, California.  Private funeral services preceded his burial in the chapel of Crosby-N. Gray & Company at Burlingame. (The Courier Bulletin, June 23, 1944, p. 3)

Ingvardt Olsen passed on July 9, 1959, at San Francisco.  He was survived by a cousin, Edward W. Neison, of San Francisco.  Olsen’s corporal remains were interred at Woodland Memorial Park, Colma, California, next to those of Manuel Eugene Jalanivich.(San Francisco Examiner, July 14, 1959)

Jalanivich’s Estate

In March 1945, Ingvardt Olsen, the executor and only heir of the Estate of Manuel E. Jalanivich, filed for probate in the Superior Court of California of San Mateo County, California.  Jalanivich’s estate consisted of: real property in San Francisco, California, probably Baker Street, appraised at $8500; a 1938 Chevrolet Town Sedan appraised at $540; and $834.64 in cash in a commercial account on deposit in the Redwood City Branch of the Bank of America.  The market value of Jalanivich’s estate for tax purposes was established at $11,373.46 of which Mr. Olsen paid $792.64 in inheritance taxes.(The Superior Court of California, San Mateo County, Case No. 11473, March 1945)

Sablich remembers “Uncle Manuel”

James Eugene Sablich Sr. (1921-2005) was interviewed by Ray L. Bellande in May 2002, at his home on 440 Porter Avenue in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Present at the meeting were his wife, Shannon Randazzo Sablich, and Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock (b. 1924), a niece of Manuel Jalanivich.

Bellande-Jim, give us your early recollections of your Uncle Manuel (Jalanivich) in Biloxi?

Sablich-The earliest recollection that I have is that he came down to visit Biloxi and his sister (Jim’s mother) and brother, Johnny Jalanivich, with his friend, Ingvardt Olsen.  That was when we lived on 626 Lameuse Street and that wasn’t yesterday.  That was quite a few years ago.

Bellande-How old were you then?

Sablich-I was in the fifth or sixth grade-about ten, eleven, or twelve years old.  About 1931.  He (Manuel) came down to visit us and stayed with mother and daddy in the house with us.  He took over my bedroom and my brother’s bedroom.  Before he left Biloxi to go back, he had to sit down to make chalk crayon pictures of me and my brother.

Bellande-Were they pastels or colored chalks?

Sablich-Colored chalk.  I was so proud of that.

Bellande-Were they a good likeness?

Sablich-Very good.

Bellande-Did he (Jalanivich) ever talk about Ethel Dismukes?

Sablich-Oh, all the time.  She lived and had her studio on Lameuse Street, one block from the beach.  I visited that place many times too.

Bellande-Did she (Dismukes) recognize his early art talent in the Biloxi Public School system?

Sablich-Well, this is something that I don’t know anything about.

Bellande-When Manuel came here (Biloxi) did he ever visit her (Miss Dismukes)?

Sablich-Every time he came to Biloxi he visited Miss Dismukes and he would go to Ocean Springs to see Mr. Peter Anderson because they came up together and he would go down and watch him do his work.

Bellande-Did he (Jalanivich) ever talk about his early life in Biloxi?

Sablich-No.  But my mother (Mary Jalanivich Sablich) did.  My mother told me that when he was just a little tot that he would always go around Mr. Ohr’s  pottery shop on Delauney Street.  Mr. Ohr took a liking to him and gave him a broom to clean up his shop after him.  As the years went by, he taught my Uncle Manuel to do this pottery work.  As far as I know, he stayed here long enough to learn enough to go to California to start his own pottery.

Bellande-Did Jalanivich have his own pottery shop on Lameuse Street in Biloxi?

Sablich-I don’t know anything about that.

Bellande-Did Manuel make any pottery when he visited Biloxi?

Sablich-To my knowledge, no.

Bellande-Do you know anything about him (Jalanivich) going off to the Navy?

SablichYeah.  I don’t know if whether it was the Navy or Army, but that’s where he made the little statue that I got while he was in camp in Louisiana.  The war ended before he got any further and he came back to Biloxi.

Bellande-Do you know anything about him (Jalanivich) meeting a wealthy woman in Virginia?

Sablich-I don’t know anything about that.

Bellande-Is there anything else about his visits to Biloxi?

Sablich-He always visited friends involved in pottery and art.

Bellande-Was there anyone besides Miss Dismukes or Peter Anderson or Ohr?

Sablich-I knew somebody else in those days.  My daddy cut her hair.  Jesse Smiler.  I think she was involved with Miss Dismukes.  She was a real estate agent.

Bellande-Did you know Miss Dismukes sister-in-law?

Sablich-Well, I met her every time I went to see Miss Dismukes.

Bellande-Did you ever go anywhere with him (Jalanivich) in Biloxi?

Sablich-We always went to the beach-Wachenfeld’s Pier and Hagan’s Pier or the Riviera Pier.

Bellande-How long would he (Jalanivich) stay in Biloxi?

Sablich-Maybe two weeks.

Bellande-Do you have anything to add Gertrude (Medlock)?

Medlock-The time that I remember him coming to see us, he had a convertible touring car.  That’s about all that I can remember about him.

Sablich-He had a big, big Buick.  I remember Uncle Manuel and Ingvardt both made an extended trip to Africa and stayed there a year or better.  He made some pottery over there and as I told you earlier I have a statue made of a native and she had a big to do or bonnet or something.  When my mother and daddy moved out there over on the beach, I had it outside to load in the car and I forgot it.  I’d give every damn thing in the world if I could find it.

Bellande-Did he (Jalanivich) make several trips to Biloxi?

Sablich-Yes, I bet he made about three trips to Biloxi.  He brought Ingvardt when he made my picture.

Jalanivich-Olsen exhibitions:

The following are some of the known dates and locations of which the ceramics of the Jalan Pottery have been on public display:

1927 Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit, Biloxi, Mississippi

1935-California-Pacific International Exhibition, San Diego, California.

1936- National Ceramic Exhibition, Museum of Fine Art, Syracuse, New York also known as the Fifth National Ceramic Exhibition (Robineau Memorial) and named for American art potter, Adelaide Alsop Robineau (1865-1929), of Syracuse, New York.  The Amberg-Hirth Gallery, San Francisco, California.

1937-Contemporary Crafts Exhibition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Oakland Art Gallery’s Exhibition of Sculpture where work received an honorable mention.

1939-Decorative Arts Exhibition of the Golden Gate International Exposition at San Francisco.

1948-(Ingvardt Olsen and Charles Nye) 7th Annual Pacific Coast Ceramic Exhibition, Rotunda Gallery, San Francisco, California.

1978-Oakland Museum, Oakland, California

1978-Lang Gallery of Scripps College, Claremont, California

1993-Oakland Museum, Oakland, California.

1994-Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

1994-Cincinnati Art Museum-Cincinnati, Ohio.

 2003-The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art-Biloxi, Mississippi, "Born of Biloxi-Joseph Meyer, George Ohr, and Manuel Jalanivich".

Manuel E. Jalanivich with sculptures

(Linda Jalanivich Seymour was inspired by the bust of the African woman in the center of this image)

(photo courtesy of Maxine McGraw Palmer)

Contemporary "Jalanivich" artists

Linda Jalanivich Seymour (b. 1947), the daughter of  David W. Jalanivich (1920-1980) and Faye Winton Krohn (1919-1999), resides in the St. Martin community north of Ocean Springs.  Like Manuel E. Jalanivich, her great uncle, Linda works in clay, primarily as a hand builder.  Linda was inspired by the bust of an African woman that Manuel E. Jalanivich had created.  In 2001, she studied pottery with Brian Nettles at the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art and sculpture with Dee Shaughnessey at the Spiral Gallery.  Linda J. Seymour had a show, "Just Faces", at the Art House in Ocean Springs in October 2005.  Twenty-five pieces of her sculptures were featured.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 6, 2005, p. B4)


The Biloxi Boys, J.F. Meyer, G.E. Ohr Jr., and M.E. Jalanivich, were among the most notable American potters of the late 19th and 20th Century.  Being reared at Biloxi on the Mexican Gulf, they experienced the humid subtropical climate, tropical cyclones or hurricanes, and shared the joie de vivre provided by the unique southern European culture, which proliferated here until post-WW II.  While Meyer and Ohr were instrumental in the art scene at New Orleans being instructors in the early years of the Newcomb College art program instituted by William Woodward (1859-1939), Manuel E. Jalanivich shared his ceramic knowledge with eager students at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. 

Today, each of these native Biloxi art potters is remembered for his uniqueness: Meyer for his glazes, simple forms and affiliation with Newcomb Pottery; Ohr for his skill on the potter’s wheel, exciting glazes, and marketing schemes; and Jalanivich for his large forms and moulds.  All are collectible.  In recent years, the value of Ohr pottery has risen geometrically.  Meyer’s Newcomb Pottery has also become very valuable.  Jalanivich’s works are located primarily on the West Coast and are still reasonably priced if they can be located.  Ebay is an excellent place to commence a search for the works of these artists.              

Local Jalan collections-

Robert Guy Chatham (1950-2002)-see obituary, The Sun Herald, May 27, 2002, p. A-6.  Courthouse Road, Gulfport, Mississippi (228) 896-9006

Andrew W. “FoFo” Gilich II

2026 Tulleries Drive, Biloxi, Mississippi 39531-(228) 385-1232

Maxine McGraw Palmer (b. 1939)

279 Palmer Cove, Jackson, Mississippi 39272-(601) 372-7385

James E. Sablich (1921-2005)

440 Porter Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi 39530-(228) 374-7321.



The Arts and Crafts Movement in California, (Oakland Museum and Abbeville Press: New York-1993).

Biloxi City Directory, 1913-1914, (Piedmont Directory Company: Ashville, North Carolina-1914)

Jean M. Bragg and Dr. Susan Saward, The Newcomb Style: Newcomb College Arts & Crafts and Art Pottery-Collector’s Guide, (Jean Bragg Gallery: New Orleans, La.-2002)

Hazel V. Bray, The Potter’s Art In California 1885 to 1955, (Oakland Museum Art Department; Oakland, California-1980)

Garth Clark, Robert A. Ellison Jr., and Eugene Hecht, The Mad Potter of Biloxi, (Abbeville Press: New York-1989)

Dane Cloutier and Bob Schmid, Journal of the American Art Pottery Association, “Leon Volkmar: The Master Potter Who Made History”Vol. 1, No. 3, May-June 1985.

Paul E. Cox, Potteries of the Gulf Coast, (Iowa State College: Iowa-1935), p. 197.

Paul Evans, “Jalan: Transitional Pottery of San Francisco”, Spinning Wheel (April 1937), p. 24.

David E. Gifford, “A Brief History of Arkansas Art Pottery-Ouachita, Niloak, and Camark”The National Society of Art Pottery Collectors, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring/Summer 1996.

Lois Lehner, Lechner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay, (Collector Books: Padukah, Kentucky-1988), p. 226.

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Vol. I, (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991).

The Potter’s Art in California 1885-1955, (Oakland Museum Art Department: Oakland, California-1980)

Cantey Venable Sutton, History of Art in Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1929)

Circuit Court

HARCO, Ms. Circuit Court Marriage Record Book 10, Giurilinovich-Morano, October 13, 1894, p. 264.

Superior Court of California

San Mateo County, California Case No. 11473, “In the Matter of the Estate of Manuel E. Jalanivich”March 1945.


hhtp://www.geocities.com/niloakpottery, “Niloak Pottery Company”



The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Funeral of Luka Giovulnovich”, August 22, 1902.

The Courier Bulletin, “Jalanovich”, June 23, 1944.

The Courier Bulletin, “Well Known Ceramic Artist Dies in Belmont”, June 23, 1944.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, May 30, 1910.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi boy has artistic talent”, April 16, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “To Show Friends Their Art Work”, May 21, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi High Doings”, December 4, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Youth Is Talented Artist”, April 11, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit At Central School”, May 22, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi youth makes pottery”, March 13, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit is enjoyed by many”, May 22, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Sablich-Jalanivich”, June 6, 1918, p. 3.

The Daily Herald, “Opening of Art Exhibit at Library”, February 3, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Award Made by Jury of Gifted and Competent Artists for Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibition at Biloxi February 4”, February 5, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Jalan Pottery Arrives”, February 9, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibits Closes”, February 21, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Frank Mueso Dies”, July 2, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News”, March 20, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Manuel Jalanovich (sic) In California”, ????

The Daily Herald, “Jalanivich-Weems”, March 31, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “McGraw-Jalanivich”, February 8, 1937, p. 8.

The Daily Herald, “Mueso Funeral”, February 29, 1940.

The Daily Herald, “Jalanavich (sic) Gaining Fame As Potter”, June 11, 1941, p. 7.

The Daily Herald, “Visit Art Exhibit”, May 31, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes Dies”, February 18, 1952.

The Daily Herald“Manuel Jalanivich Dies in California”, June 19, 1944.

The Daily Herald, “J.M. Jalanivich”, October 9, 1967.

The Daily Herald, “David W. Jalanivich Sr.”, November 10, 1980.

The Ocean Springs Record, "The Biloxi Boys: Meyer, Ohr, and Jalanivich", September 5, 2002 to October 31, 2002.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Seymour's sculptures put faces in new perspectives", October 6, 2005, p.B4.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “S.F. Potters Rise To Fame”, May 8, 1919 or 1935?

The San Francisco Chronicle, “Clever Potters Bring Art To This City”, December 17, 1922.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “S.F. Women Reviving Old Art of Ceramics”, November 1, 1937.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “Death Splits Famed Team of Artists”, June 21, 1944.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “Funeral Notices”, July 14, 1959.

The San Francisco Examiner, “Funeral Notices”, July 14, 1959.

The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Mary Louise Sablich”, February 14, 1991.

The Sun Herald, “Gertrude Trosclair Jalanivich”, June 5, 1996.

The Sun Herald"James Eugene (Jimbo) Sablich", September 23, 2005, p. A6.

The Sun Herald"Mr. Dewey P. Jalanivich, Sr.", December 8, 2006, p. A10.


Personal Communication:


Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock-conversation at 13809 Plano Road, Gulf Hills, January 11-12, 2001.

Mark Jawgiel, e-mail January 31, 2002.

Joan M. Levy, San Mateo County Historical Museum, e-mail of her search of the Belmont, California telephone books from 1938-1946 on January 9, 2002.

Jeff Gunderson-e-mail from the San Francisco Art Institute, January 15, 2002


James E. Sablich-taped interview in May 2002.

Maxine McGraw Palmer-conversation at Byram, Mississippi on June 22, 2002.