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Cat on a Hot Thin Tile: A Grueby Faience Company Tile
The Grueby Faience Company was founded in Revere, Massachusetts, in 1897. Grueby quickly grew in popularity and soon collaborated with Tiffany and Co. to produce ceramic lamp bases. Best known for their creation of a distinctive forest-green glaze, Grueby used this colorway on their iconic vases and tiles. Grueby garnered many awards, including accolades from...
Holy Beetle
The Egyptian motif of the scarab, a symbol of self-renewal, experienced great popularity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Thousands of glass scarabs were produced by at Tiffany’s Corona factory and inset into jewelry, metalwork, and ceramic vases, as seen here. Tiffany’s Favrile pottery is known for its unique color effects, created by...
A Question About Two Turkeys
“Can you help us in identifying where our birds were made?”[1] This inquiry is one of numerous others regarding two fowl from a 1968 letter from Catherine Lynn Frangiamore, then an assistant in the Department of Decorative Arts (now Product Design and Decorative Arts) at Cooper Hewitt, to Lino Sandonnini, then director of the Museo...
A Parable on Paper
Bonad or bonader is a type of folk art once produced in large amounts in southern Sweden in the regions of Dalarna and Småland. At first bonad were paintings on textiles meant to imitate tapestries and the wall hangings of the elite, but in the late 18th century they were produced increasingly as paintings on...
Dining with the Fishes
It isn’t every day that you can admire a piece in a museum and then use it to eat your dinner later that night. But the artist of this dinnerware set, Eddie Dominguez, strives for both artistry and functionality in his pieces. While these pieces look like a tromp l’oeil painting or a sculptural installation...
Pottery and Progress
This tile features an image of the Hartt House on Hull Street in Boston, Massachusetts. The tile is part of a “Boston” set created at the Paul Revere Pottery that depicted old and famous buildings around the Boston area. The outlines of the buildings were incised in the clay when it was still soft and then...
Gilded Goblet
This gilded goblet was made for a special dinner in honor of Andrew Carnegie given by the Engineers’ Club of New York on December 9, 1907. The name of the club and the date of the dinner can be seen along the edge of the goblet’s base. Carnegie had donated $450,000 for the organization’s new...
Under the Sea
In July of 1913, Arthur Sanders, a gaffer at Tiffany Studios, was sent on a dream of a business trip. He traveled to Hamilton, Bermuda to study marine life through a glass-bottomed boat. Sanders observed the beauty of the underwater world so that he could later reproduce it in glass when back in Corona, New...
Design Reform
Christopher Dresser, a disciple of Owen Jones, was an early design reformer and is considered by some to be the first industrial designer. In addition to designing wallpapers, textiles, carpets, ceramics, and metalwork for a wide variety of European and American manufacturers, he published several influential books, including The Art of Decorative Design (1862), Principles...