Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Nancy Plum ’55

Nancy Plum, noted local potter, left us Sunday, September 8, 2019, at age 87, after a brief struggle against lung cancer.

Nancy was born in Providence, RI, in 1932, the daughter of Harry and Florence Manes and sister of Marlene.

While attending Antioch College, OH she discovered pottery one summer at the famous Black Mountain College, NC. This led her to Cranbrook Art School, MI, where she met fellow student Jens Plum.

After receiving her MFA from Cranbrook, Nancy was a teaching assistant at Mills College, CA and then an assistant professor at Highlands College, NM. She left to marry Jens and return to Michigan. In 1963, Jens was hired as an art professor at MSU and Nancy spent the rest of her life in the area where she was at the core of the local art scene and a beloved teacher at the Greater Lansing Area Potters’ Guild, passing down the tradition of throwing pots she learned from the Finnish-American potter Maija Grotell, her teacher at Cranbrook.

Nancy exhibited regionally and nationally and is represented in many private and public collections. Locally she was known for a large yearly sale of her work held in the family backyard from the ’70s until 2003.Nancy had five cancers, the first at age 44 and she successfully fought them all until her metastasis, discovered in July.

Nancy was a classical music lover and avid concert and theatre goer. She loved to cook and entertain, was a regular at the Parkwood Y, and studied Tai Chi up until the end.She cultivated many friendships and we will all miss her. She is survived by her daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah Plum, grandson Jens Plum, nephews Peter and Stephen Michelman, Frederik and Svend Plum, and cousin, Leda Hansen. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society.