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Flowery Thoughts: Ceramic Vases & Floral Ornament at Winterthur

May 28, 2016 to September 8, 2016

Covered Jar Porcelain, Chamberlain Worcester Factory, Worcester, England; 1815–20. Enamel-painted in script (twice) “Chamberlain Worcester Manufacturers to their Royal Highness The Prince Regent and Duke of Cumberland.” Courtesy Winterthur Museum, Gift of Alice Braunfeld 2001.3.40

Since antiquity, humans have been fascinated by the beauty of flowers. They created special containers to hold the blooms, reproduced flat images of flora on surfaces or, alternatively, modeled flowers in three dimensions.

In this exhibit, Leslie B. Grigsby, Winterthur’s Senior Curator of Ceramics & Glass, presents a selection of some of the enormous range of ceramic vases and floral-decorated wares from the Winterthur Museum collection.  

These eye-catching objects primarily date from the 1700s and 1800s and, variously, were produced in America, Europe and Asia. The high-fashion wares among these ceramics originally found homes in elegant settings, while other objects reflect what was enjoyed by those of lesser means. Some of the featured floral designs studiously imitate imagery from botanical publications, while others display a freedom and originality not expressed in nature.