Fred and Estelle Marer donated an international collection of contemporary ceramics, including American, British, Japanese, Korean, and Mexican works. The collection's core is focused on West Coast ceramics, especially the work of the "Otis Group," who challenged the traditional direction of the field of ceramics in the mid-1950s.
Fred Marer was not a man of wealth but a teacher of modest means, teaching mathematics at Los Angeles City College. Though he never had substantial resources, he slowly amassed his collection by interacting with ceramic artists and buying works directly from them. His collection came to Scripps through the influence of renowned ceramist Paul Soldner, who turned the Scripps ceramics program into a major center of study and exhibition, convincing Marer to make this generous gift to the college. From the 1970s sections of the collection have come to Scripps through long-term loans and donations. In 1993, the Marers gave the core of the collection, which focuses on the Otis group.