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Decorative Arts

On View: American Identities: A New Look, Making Art: Centennial Era, 5th Floor

The unusual imagery on this jug of coiling snakes, frogs, and turtles intended to suggest the nightmarish delirium brought on by alcohol abuse. Such vessels are illustrative of the temperance movement in the United States in the nineteenth century—which was second only to slavery as a burning social issue. The best known of these vessels were produced by Warren V. Kirkpatrick at the Anna Pottery in Illinois and probably influenced the potter of jug.

CULTURE American
MEDIUM Slip glazed red earthenware
  • Possible Place Made: Ohio, United States
  • DATES 1860-1880
    DIMENSIONS Height: 11 in. (27.9 cm) Diameter of base: 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Unmarked
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    ACCESSION NUMBER 44.1.20a-b
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Arthur W. Clement
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION American. Jug, 1860-1880. Slip glazed red earthenware, Height: 11 in. (27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Arthur W. Clement, 44.1.20a-b. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 44.1.20a-b_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Slip glazed red earthenware jug (a) with cover (b). Jug: grotesque, so-called Delirium Tremens, applied design of snakes, frogs, and men. Cover in form of frog. Condition: Good
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