Independent Researcher, Collector, Curator, Author; Columbia, South Carolina
An empirical, virtual curator, exploring the microhistory, genealogy and material culture of the South, Dr. Toussaint is known as a collector with an essential grasp of traditional Southern stoneware. She approaches each piece from the intellectual, academic, archaeological, social, tactile, and artistic perspectives.
Now an ardent collector and researcher, she began on a different path. Born in Carbondale, Illinois, she received a double BA; one in Biological Sciences and one in Microbiology, from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1999. She earned her Doctorate in Medicine in 2004 from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, then did her residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, specializing in Podiatry. She is also a graduate of Boston University's Genealogical Studies Program.
When medical issues required her to retire from practice she looked for something else to do and took a pottery class where, she says, she "made expensive dog bowls". Introduced to the book "Great and Noble Jar" the Bible of South Carolina stoneware and she was hooked. She has volunteered at various archaeological sites, learned more about the pottery and the potters and was launched into the world of Southern stoneware.
Dr. Toussaint's previous speaking engagements include;
MESDA Conference Celebrating Fifty Years of Ceramic Studies (2016)
" Reading the Fine Print", Annual Madison Georgia Antique Show and Conference (2018)
" Building Provenance: Past, Present & Future" American Ceramic Circle Symposium (2019)
"Edgefield District Stoneware".
She and her husband Phillip Toussaint are major lenders to the current exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art “Here Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina. They have been lenders to other recent exhibitions: "David Drake: Potter and Poet", Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, Florida (2016). Her most recent publication is Edgefield District Stoneware: The Potter's Legacy (Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Volume 41, 2020)