Must-see'Majolica Mania' exhibition in New York lasts until January 2nd, then travel-ArtfixDaily news feed

2021-12-13 15:56:21 By : Mr. Jingsong Wei

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Majolica Mania: The British and American Transatlantic Pottery Exhibition from 1850 to 1915 is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition to date, demonstrating major innovations in the field of ceramics in the 19th century. Inspired by the enamelware of the Italian Renaissance and the French Palissy ware, the "Enamelware" made its debut at the International Exposition in London in 1851 and caused an immediate sensation. This molded pottery utilizes new production techniques and brightly colored lead-based glazes, and allows various forms from historical to practical to whimsical. Tableware, decorations and garden accessories reflect the fashion and new culinary practices of the 19th century. Majolica is available and popular in all social classes on both sides of the Atlantic. This is a very successful answer to what good industrial design can and should look like-this is a highly controversial topic in this period.

Majolica Mania is organized by the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) and Walters Art Museum, curated by BGC founder and director Dr. Susan Weber; and Dr. Jo Briggs, Jennie Walters Delano, associate curator of the Walters Museum of 18th and 19th Century Art. The exhibition is now on display in Bard, New York City until January 2, 2022, and will travel (see final venue). Or, browse the supporting exhibition online.

"This exhibition," Weber said, "is the culmination of an international research project that continues the BGC tradition of identifying under-recognized and underestimated academic fields in the decorative arts of the 19th century. In particular, the Majolica Mania exhibition And its accompanying three-volume catalog, subtitled "British and American Transatlantic Pottery from 1850 to 1915", reflects new research that focuses on the deep intertwined relationship between the British ceramic industry, where, majorica It was the first many British potters to finally settle in the United States. The experience of these artisans was crucial to the development of the American ceramic industry. After their arrival, pottery in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and Maryland flourished."

"The story of enamel is the story of people: reformers, designers, scientists, potters, retailers, users, and collectors," said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte, director of the Walters Art Museum. . "Majolica showcases the ever-changing views of Victorian interest, expressed through its series of source materials-art from the ancient world, Asia, Gothic and Renaissance, and art from nature. In this way, this exhibition has a special resonance with the encyclopedia collection of the Walters Art Museum and the City of Baltimore. The exhibition continues the Walters family’s mission to connect art to people by putting art history in a personal story. link together."

The exhibition displays many of the best examples of British and American enamels, including several important works loaned from British museums, including the Royal Collection, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Pottery Museum and Art Gallery in Stocken-Trent; from The Maryland Historical Society and Philadelphia Museum of Art; and private collections. Many of the objects in the exhibition have never been publicly displayed before.

"Although enamel does not usually appear in museum collections, mainly because it was considered a'bad' design in the middle of the 20th century and was subsequently cancelled, by reconsidering this important ceramic, we can learn something about Victoria The new things of the times, the times and ourselves. This exhibition and publication will bring Falangcai back to dialogue," Briggs said. 

Majolica Mania: British and American transatlantic pottery, 1850-1915, including about 350 items of various sizes, forms and functions, showing the works of major British pottery manufacturers and designers, including Minton and Wedgwood , George Jones, etc., as well as leading American companies such as Griffin Smith Hill in Pennsylvania; Arsenal Pottery in Trenton, New Jersey; and Chesapeake Pottery in Baltimore, Maryland. Important themes of the exhibition include Minton’s introduction to enamel; design sources, including historical styles, Asian art, and the natural world; the importance of gardening and greenhouses in Victorian homes; new food and fashion on the table; the United Kingdom and the United States Major enamel manufacturer; the decline of enamelware in the early 20th century due to changes in taste and reforms that restricted the use of lead in the workplace.

Minton introduces Majolica

Minton & Co. introduced enamel at the International Exposition in London in 1851. In 1849, the owner of the company, Herbert Minton, hired Léon Arnoux, a French modeler, designer, decorator, and ceramic chemist who had worked in Sèvres, and commissioned him to plan the display of the Minton exhibition. Arnoux used his knowledge of Renaissance ceramics to develop what came to be known as majolica, a new pottery style characterized by the rich saturated colors of the lead-based glaze he created, which was used to decorate bold shapes pottery. The innovation developed by Arnoux for Minton & Co. and subsequently adopted by other manufacturers enabled them to mass-produce decorative molded pottery at a lower cost than porcelain, which is much more expensive.

Minton recruited French and other European artists, including Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, Pierre-Émile Jeannest, Hugues Protât, Émile-Aubert Lessore and Paul Comoléra, to design for enamel. The talents and skills of these artists have contributed greatly to the company's success, as has its relationship with the British royal family. Minton majolica was used in the Royal Dairy Factory in Windsor and the entire South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum), and these materials were introduced in a video presentation.

The exhibition includes a watercolor design demonstrating the use of Minton architectural enamel in Royal Dairy products. You can also see the enamel girl with a vase sculpture and the fountain originally designed and produced for the Royal Dairy Company, which was later copied and sold to the public.

Several key Minton works on display include a life-size peacock designed by Paul Comoléra and made in 1876, a seven-foot-high flower stand or flowerbed on loan from the Pottery Museum and exhibited at the Paris World Exposition in 1855, and A foxglove flower pot and holder were designed around 1850. This is an example of the models exhibited at the Universal Exposition in London in 1851 and the Crystal Palace in New York in 1853. 

Majolica was quickly accepted by the general public. As the number of British enamelware manufacturers surged, decorative utensils entered the homes of the new middle class in the United Kingdom and the United States. Majolica designers found inspiration from various European ceramic precedents such as Palissy and Della Robbia, as well as revival styles, especially the Revival style of the Renaissance. With the support of Herbert Minton, Léon Arnoux encouraged factory artists such as Hamlet Bourne to use authentic Renaissance objects as sources of inspiration and reproduction. For example, the exhibition includes a 1858 kettle and stand, which Hamlet Bourne modeled for Minton as a replica of the original Renaissance in the V&A collection.

The general fascination with Asian art and design has prompted enamel manufacturers to seek new inspiration, especially from Japan. The exhibition features vases and flower pots that showcase this interest, such as the aquarium flower pot designed by Christopher Dresser for Wedgwood around 1872.

Scientists such as Thomas Henry Huxley and Charles Darwin sparked interest in science and natural history throughout the 19th century. Darwin's publications Journal and Remarks (first published under this title in 1839 and later called The Voyage of the Beagle) and On the Origin of Species (1859) are widely read. The manufacturers of Majolica found a wealth of original materials for their creations in the animal world, and objects such as Minton’s monkey garden seats were reflected in the exhibition. The tortoise spittoon with George Jones, dated 1855. In 1873.

Victorian greenhouse

As exotic plants and animals from across the empire entered the UK, so did personal research on botany. This interest coincides with the increased affordability of materials such as glass and steel, which support the construction of more and more greenhouses in private homes, aimed at displaying collections of tropical plants, ferns, and other plant specimens. The new greenhouse provides a new place for home decoration. Enamel manufacturers responded with a variety of flower pots, flower pots, vases, garden seats and fountains, all of which were well reflected in the exhibition.

New food and fashion on the table

Innovations in transportation and the advent of refrigeration and canning technology brought new food, cooking methods and fashions to the 19th century dining table. These developments have promoted the production of a series of professional enamel tableware, including asparagus cradles, berry servers, celery vases (such as Griffen, Smith & Hill’s Etruscan celery vase, about 1879-90, will be on display), sardine boxes (For example, George Jones sardine box and stand, circa 1875, also on display) and other items.

The exhibition reflects the diverse products of major enamel manufacturers in the UK from 1851 to 1900. Although Minton & Co. is still an important force in the industry, the exhibition includes enamels from other leading British manufacturers who began selling enamels in the 1860s, including Josiah Wedgwood & Sons; George Jones; Wu Royal Porcelain Company; TC Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co.; William Brownfield; and WT Copeland & Sons; and other manufacturers such as Adams & Bromley and Wardle & Co., which started in the 1870s and 1880s Export more popular enamelware to the growing American market.

Major U.S. Producers

As British ceramists and artisans immigrated to the United States, they contributed their knowledge and skills to the growing American ceramic industry. James Carr was one of the first immigrants to produce enamel in the United States at his New York City pottery factory. Joseph S. Mayer is another British immigrant potter. His Arsenal pottery was active throughout the 1880s and early 1890s in Trenton, New Jersey, which is one of the most important ceramic manufacturing centers in the United States. Mayer is a low-cost, high-volume manufacturer of kettles and other enamelware.

Baltimore is also home to two American enamel manufacturers: Chesapeake Pottery and Edwin Bennett Pottery of DF Haynes & Company. The exhibits produced by these manufacturers included a large fern stand, provided by Edwin Bennett Pottery, and exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Griffen, Smith & Hill is one of the best and largest enamel manufacturers in the United States, exhibiting a wide range of patterns and forms in the exhibition, including the company's popular "shell" vessels (1879-1890). Other American producers participating in the exhibition are George Molly of East Liverpool, Ohio, and Peekskill Pottery Works of Hudson Valley, New York.

The decline of Majolica and workplace reforms

In the late 19th century, people began to realize the occupational dangers of working in the enamel industry. Pottery is fired with coal, and throwing, turning, pressing, and casting pottery creates a dusty environment. Workers in this industry often inhale smoke and dust. Women account for 40% of the pottery workforce in the UK, and their jobs usually require extensive exposure to lead, such as painting on enamel. Starting in 1896, British doctors were required to report cases of lead poisoning for the first time. Damn statistics show that potters are more susceptible to lead poisoning than workers in any other industry. In the early 20th century, workplace reforms were soon carried out to reduce lead exposure. These regulations coincided with the change of taste, and finally, the production of enamel came to an end.

Majolica Mania includes a ceramic memorial created by contemporary artist Walter McConnell commissioned by the Bard Graduate Center and Walters Art Museum. The memorial aims to commemorate many workers in the pottery industry, especially women, who eventually fell ill or died due to the use of toxic lead-based materials . Glazes and other hazardous materials.

Majolica Mania: Transatlantic Pottery in England and United States, 1850–1915, Susan Weber and Catherine Arbuthnott, Jo Briggs, Eleanor Hughes, Earl Martin, and Laura Microulis co-edited complete illustrations, a three-volume catalog, published by the Bard Graduate Center and co-edited with The Walters Art Museum in collaboration with Yale University Press. 

September 24, 2021 to January 2, 2022, Bard Graduate Center, New York City

Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, February 27-August 7, 2022

Pottery Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, UK October 15, 2022 to February 26, 2023

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