Tony Schlachter

The Tony Schlachter Collection contains over 2,500 pieces of Medicine Hat pottery.

Collections & Research

The Friends of Medalta Society has been accepting donations to our Permanent and Study collections since 1992.

Donations & Inquiries

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your antique ceramics produced in South Eastern Alberta.

Collections and Research

The Friends of Medalta Society has been accepting donations to our Permanent and Study collections since 1992. Thanks to the generosity of donors from across Canada, our collection has grown to over 38,000 objects. The primary focus of our collection is artefacts related to the factories located in the Historic Clay District with a minor focus on the other Potteries that operated in Southeastern Alberta.

Additionally, we have a collection of historic plaster moulds that were used at the Hycroft China site between 1938-1989, as well as collections of silkscreens, rubber stamps, stencils, tools and other artefacts found on site. We are also interested in product catalogues and advertisements from the Potteries in South Eastern Alberta. Additionally, we also collect stories of life working in the factories, more formally called Oral Histories.

We have placed a moratorium on acquisitions until January, 2023

Following the 2013 flood, we devoted 5 years to the safe housing and conservation of our collection. In this massive undertaking, there were various time consuming projects such as large-scale documentation concerning the historic plaster moulds at Hycroft China; industrial machinery and tools throughout their 7 acres of roofed buildings; and the product design drawings and illustrations from Medicine Hat Potteries and Hycroft China. Medalta is proud of the conservation efforts taken on by their Collections Staff in these years.

Each piece accepted into our collection must then be appraised, labeled, documented, photographed, stored safely, and uploaded to a database. The major flood projects resulted in a growing backlog of unprocessed donations which is becoming increasingly problematic.

As a result, the museum has placed a moratorium of 5 years on new additions to the collection, meaning we will no longer be accepting new acquisition inquiries beyond the specific donations that we have already committed to accepting in 2019. We now have to regretfully refuse artefact donations and are steering such offers to other museums that are considered appropriate for the items being offered. This time will allow us to reconsider our collection development plan, deaccession items which are currently over-represented in order to free up space for new acquisitions, and to complete processing of current artefacts. This will also allow Collections staff more time to digitize the collection, so that it may be shared and accessed by the public.

Our entire staff would like to thank you for your patience during this time.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your antique ceramics produced in South Eastern Alberta. In addition to your question, please send us a few photos of the object, from multiple views including any factory stamps or markings on the object. These photos help us to narrow down the date range of when your object was produced.

We are currently in the process of developing our online collection database for your self-serve research needs. We  also have books for sale in our museum gift shop that offer a wealth of information about the potteries of South Eastern Alberta, the products and markings of Medalta Potteries Ltd, and Altaglass. If you are interested in purchasing a book, please give us a call and we can let you know more about prices and shipping.

In accordance with the International Council of Museums Code of Ethics, we are unable to provide appraisal services to the public. Estimates of value are performed by an appraiser. You can find an appraiser in the yellow pages of the phone book or through a member of the Canadian Antique Dealers Association.

Fill Out Our Donation Form

On this page you will find information about artifact donations to the Friends of Medalta Society. Once you have read and understand the donation process please  fill out the form. More information about where to send your form once completed is available on the form itself. Thank you for considering The Friend of Medalta Society for your artifact donation.

Object Donations

Have you ever thought about donating an artifact to the Friends of Medalta Society? Do you have something you think should be part of the Collection? New artifact donations help us better tell the story of the Historic Clay District and its people by filling gaps in our collection. Most of our artifacts are received as donations from the public.

We cannot accept objects dropped off at Medalta without a prior appointment. Items dropped off will not be accepted by staff. Please read the information below and complete the Offer of Donation Form at the bottom of the page.

For more information or questions, please contact our Collections Manager at collection@medalta.org.

How to Donate an Artifact

What To Tell Us

The more information you can tell us about your object, the better. Who used it? How and where did they use it? Who made it? How did you come to have it? What part of the Historic Clay District story does it tell? Is it in good condition?

Send Us Pictures

Digital photographs of the object will help us evaluate your offer. Please send an image of what the object looks like today. Historical photographs of the object in use, or of the people who
used it, are also valuable. If your object is accepted, we would be grateful for copies of these photos and the permission to use them in exhibitions, publications and online.

What Happens Next

Your offer will be evaluated by the Collections Manager. We will check to make sure the condition of the object is suitable, compare it to artifacts already in our collection and determine if it meets Medalta’s needs. Our Collections Manager will contact you once a decision is made to accept or decline your offer. We will usually have a response within four to six weeks.

What Do We Collect?

We collect artifacts that are representative of and prioritized as:
1) The Historic Clay District, which include Medicine Hat Pottery Company, Medalta Stoneware, Medalta Potteries Limited, Medicine Hat Potteries, Hycroft China, New Medalta Ceramics, Sunburst Ceramics Limited, Medicine Hat Brick and Tile, and IXL Industries ltd.
2) Other related potteries, which include Gas City Pottery, Alberta Potteries, and Medalta Potteries Redcliff.
3) Related Industries, including Alberta Clay Products, National Porcelain Ltd., and Plainsman Clay.

Artifacts are not limited to stoneware and ceramic items! We collect catalogues, advertising items, moulds, stamps, photographs, and other material relating to Medalta and the Historic Clay District.

Donate an Artifact Form

To donate an artifact please complete the Offer of Donation Form (download link), and send it along with pictures to our collections manager at collection@medalta.org. The purpose of the Offer of Donation form is to gather more information about the offer and for the donor to confirm that they are the legal owner of all the material offered. Please include a complete list of all the items that you wish to donate. Our staff will then review the information to reach a decision or ask more questions if needed. Accuracy and completeness of the information provided will help speed up the review. Medalta cannot process an offer without a completed Offer of Donation form.

The Paperwork

If your object is accepted by the FOMS we will send you a gift agreement form which transfers unrestricted ownership to the FOMS. This form can be signed in person, digitally, or returned by mail. We are unable to accept loans or donations with limiting conditions such as requiring the artifact to go on exhibit.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Item Wasn’t Accepted, Why Not?

Although we graciously appreciate all offers, we simply cannot accept everything as storage space and resources are limited. Part of managing the artifact collection of Medalta is having to respectfully say “no” to new offers of objects that are already well represented in our collection, or that cannot be properly preserved with our current resources.
Please note: If a donation is not accepted and the donor chooses to sell the object(s), Museum
staff will not provide evaluations or financial advice.

Will my object be displayed?

Acquisition does not guarantee public exhibition and the FOMS does not accept donations offered with conditions. While artifacts are rotated in and out of exhibition, only a small percentage of the Museum’s collection is on display at any one time. The remainder of the collection is held in storage designed for long-term preservation.

Can I visit objects I have donated?

We always make our best effort to accommodate requests to see donated material. Please send us advance notice of your visit so that we can retrieve the objects from storage, or else inform you if they are on display, or if special scheduling is required.

I have something I’d like to donate. Can I drop it off at the Museum?

No. We are very interested to hear more about your objects but unfortunately, for reasons of security and public accountability staff are not allowed to accept objects “over the counter”. Unsolicited material will not be accepted by staff.

Can the Museum tell me if they are interested in the material I am offering before I complete the Offer of Donation form?

No. The completion of the Offer of Donation form is the mandatory first step in the acquisitions process. The Museum cannot evaluate an offer without a completed form.

How long will it take to process my offer of donation?

It may take 4-6 weeks or longer to review and process your offer after we receive the Offer of Donation form and supporting images. The speed of a decision is helped by accurate and complete offer information. All offers are reviewed by Collections staff and must go through multiple stages before the process is complete. We consider each offer in turn and strive to keep the process as smooth and straightforward as possible.

What can I do if the FOMS is not able to accept my offer?

If the FOMS is not able to accept your offer, we will try to recommend other institutions that may have an interest in the material you wish to donate.

What if I change my mind once my donation has been accepted?

Once ownership has been signed over, the objects are the property of the FOMS and cannot be returned. If you have concerns, please discuss them with us prior to signing over ownership.

History of the Tony Schlachter Collection

Anthony (Tony) Timothy Schlachter arrived to the world in the middle of the 1930’s depression. He was the second of eight children born to Joseph and Catherine Schlachter who had a farm on the Etzikom Road, between Seven Persons and Bow Island, Alberta.

After managing a grain elevator in Hussar, Alberta for a couple of years, Tony also went into farming, growing wheat and raising cattle, on the land known locally as “the Flamme Farm”. It had belonged to August Flamme, an MLA for the Cypress area in the late thirties.

It was on this farm that Tony discovered the very first piece of his collection – a stoneware chicken waterer.

In the intervening 50 years, he has amassed an exemplary collection of South Eastern Alberta pottery which he generously donated to The Friends of Medalta Society in the Spring of 2008.

Upon donating, Tony asked that it be shown as a single collection, which we were happy to do. His collection officially opened in Medalta’s former Kiln Room in May 2008 and was housed there until October 2010. Its permanent home is now in a secure section of our Reception Gallery and is open for viewing during our regular museum hours. Some of the artefacts are one-of-a-kind – including a vase made for the Veiner family and a half a chamber pot (custom-made by a former Medalta Manager for his “half-assed” friends).

Other generous donors of items produced in the Historic Clay District and surrounding area: the late George Bruinsma and Wayne and Gina Battle, David and Nora Manz, Bruce Douglas whose collection focused on Medalta’s Lamps. The late Peter Kenny who collected items made by Medicine Hat Potteries Ltd.  Cam McLean who collected objects made by Sunburst Ceramics Ltd.