Exhibitions: American Ceramics, 1607-1943

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    American Ceramics, 1607-1943

    Press Releases ?
    • Date unknown, approximately 1944: A permanent gallery of American ceramics, believed to be the most comprehensive collection that has ever been placed on public view, will be opened by the Brooklyn Museum on January 19, 1944 after a preview for members and invited guests on the preceding day. The exhibition begins with the 17th century and continues to the present day. It is composed of two major collections. One was assembled by Mr. Arthur W. Clement and has recently been given by him to the Museum. Mr. Burford Lorimer has lent a large collection that contains some of the finest extant examples from Pennsylvania and the Shenandoah Valley. The exhibition also comprises loans and gifts from institutions and individuals.

      A fully illustrated handbook with much new information on the subject of American ceramics has been prepared by Mr. Clement and will be published to accompany the exhibition. It is based on several years’ exploration of early pottery sites and contemporary documents.

      The exhibition is arranged in seven main divisions, redware, stoneware, moulded wares, utility wares, decorative wares, porcelain and tiles. The redware section contains early fragments excavated at Jamestown, Virginia, and from the sites of two 18th century Massachusetts potteries. Sgraffito and slipware of the highest quality from Eastern Pennsylvania are represented by such rarities as a pair of signed David Spinner plates and a plate decorated by Georg Hubener dated 1792.

      The stoneware contains 18th century examples from a pottery at South Amboy, New Jersey, and from the Abraham Meade pottery at Greenwich, Connecticut. In the moulded wares are marked examples of rockingham made at Jersey City, South Amboy, Baltimore and Bennington, as well as at East Liverpool, Ohio. Examples of graniteware and hotelware are included under utility wares.

      Decorative wares are represented by majolica, and items produced at the Rookwood pottery and tableware made at Los Angeles with decorations from designs by Rockwell Kent. The collection includes several unique pieces, such as the white earthenware sauceboat made by Bonnin and Morris at Philadelphia in 1771-1772.

      The porcelain section contains two marked Smith, Fife & Company pitchers, which received commendation at the Franklin Institute exhibition of 1830, the first piece of bellock produced at Trenton, the Century Vase created by the Union Porcelain Works for the Centennial Exhibition, a porcelain candlestick from New Jersey and examples of porcelain made by Charles Cartlidge of Brooklyn. An unusual marked pitcher from the American Porcelain Manufacturing Company of Gloucester, New Jersey, is also included. Roof tiles are represented by an early 18th century example from Massachusetts, and one of mid-l8th century from Pennsylvania. Another unusual item is a Moravian stove tile from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

      There is also an assortment of potters tools containing slip-cups, coggle-wheels, hand stamps, stilts and moulds.

      Credit for assembling and arranging the collection is shared by Mr. Arthur W. Clement, a member of the Governing Committee of the Brooklyn Museum, and by John M. Graham, 2nd, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Museum.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 01-03/1944, 002-3. View Original 1 . View Original 2

    • January 19, 1944: A permanent gallery of American ceramics, believed to be the most comprehensive collection that has ever been placed on public view, will be opened by the Brooklyn Museum on January 19, 1944, after a preview for members and invited guests on the preceding day. The exhibition begins with the 17th century and continues to the present day. It is composed of two major collections. One was assembled by Arthur W. Clement and has recently been given by him to the Museum. The other large group is the George Horace Lorimer collection lent by Burford Lorimer. It contains some of the finest known examples from Pennsylvania and the Shenandoah Valley. Also included are loans and gifts from several institutions and individuals.

      A fully illustrated handbook with much new information on the subject of American ceramics has been prepared by Mr. Clement and will be published to accompany the exhibition. It is based on several years’ exploration of early pottery sites and contemporary documents.

      The exhibition is arranged in seven main divisions: redware, stoneware, moulded wares, utility wares, decorative wares, porcelain and tiles. The redware section contains early fragments made before 1700 and excavated at Jamestown, Virginia. From two eighteenth century pottery sites in Massachusetts are shards notable for their variety of colored glazes and the skilled potting of light bodies to accord with the size of the item produced. Many pieces of redware are from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England.

      Sgraffito and slipware of the highest quality from Eastern Pennsylvania include such rarities as a pair of signed David Spinner plates, also one by Georg Hubener with unusual decoration and dated 1792. Two plates made by Samuel Troxel, from which all Pennsylvania sgraffito ware was first identified by Dr. Barber, are on view. Outstanding examples made by the master potters, Friedrich Hildebrand, Johannes Leman, Jacob Taney, Johannes Neesz, Henry Roudebuth, and Andrew and Charles Headman are exhibited.

      There is slipware from Pennsylvania, New England, New Jersey, North Carolina and Ohio. A few of the designs are very elaborate, but more often the decoration consists of wavy lines and humorous inscriptions such as "Shoo-fly" or "Hard times in Jersey."

      Eighteenth century stoneware by James Morgan of South Amboy, New Jersey, and the Abraham Mead Pottery of Greenwich, Connecticut, are shown. From the nineteenth century are products of many interesting potters. A few of the New Jersey workmen are Xerxes Price, Warner & Letts, Noah Furman and William E. Warne. New York State is represented by Clarkson Crolius, Sr. and Jr., Thomas Commeraw, Paul Cushman, Thomas Boone of Brooklyn and Lewis & Gardiner of Long Island. Many other specimens are from New England and Ohio.

      In the moulded ware section are marked rockingham glazed items from the American Pottery Company at Jersey City, designed by Daniel Greatbach; also pieces from the Salamander Works at Woodbridge, New Jersey, and the Swan Hill Pottery at South Amboy. Maryland and Ohio examples are on view.

      A unique item, perhaps the most important in the collection, is the white earthenware sauceboat made by Bonnin & Morris at Philadelphia between 1771-1772. It is one of two known examples from this firm and is the only piece intact. At first glance, the sauceboat might be taken for Worcester. The body, of a good quality of white earthenware, bears a molded relief design. The painted decoration is in under-glaze blue. The base is marked, like the other known piece, with a small capital P in under-glaze blue. The late Dr. Barber, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, examined the sauceboat and ascribed it to Bonnin & Morris. Nine master workmen were imported from London for this pottery, which accounts for the sophisticated products produced at such an early date. The scarcity of items may be credited to the fact that the factory was in operation for the short time of one year and eleven months.

      The porcelain division contains many exceptionally rare objects, such as the earliest known American example in this field. It is an all white vase made by Dr. Henry Mead of New York, and lent by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Other early pieces are a sepia plate by William Ellis Tucker; two marked Smith, Fife & Company pitchers, of which only a few exist and for which they received commendation at the Franklin Institute Exhibition in 1830; the first piece of belleek produced at Trenton, New Jersey; the Century Vase made by the Union Porcelain Works for the Centennial Exhibition; a porcelain candlestick from New Jersey; examples made by Charles Cartlidge of Brooklyn; an unusual marked pitcher from the American Porcelain Manufacturing Company of Gloucester, New Jersey.

      Roof tiles are represented by an early eighteenth century example from Massachusetts and one of mid-eighteenth century from Pennsylvania. Another unusual item is a Moravian stove tile from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

      To facilitate the understanding of how ceramics were produced, a collection of American pottery tools, including slip-cups, coggle-wheels, hand stamps, stilts and moulds, is shown.

      Credit for assembling and arranging the collection is shared by Arthur W. Clement, a member of the Governing Committee of the Brooklyn Museum, and by John M. Graham, 2nd., Curator of Decorative Arts at the Museum.

      PRESS PREVIEW: TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, FROM 10:00 AM TO 5:00 PM

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 01-03_1944, 130-132 View Original 1 . View Original 2 . View Original 3

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    The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
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