Posts tagged ‘teapot’
Hi there! I’m Steven and I am currently interning here at the Newark Museum. I will be here throughout the summer giving you my take on the different works of art, as well as a peek into some great events and happenings.
There are times I wish that I was born in a different time period. The allure of wielding a katana while wearing samurai armor; of the battlefields and warring eras along with the glory that came from an honorable life in Japan long ago; the simple and romanticized life of the samurai has always captured my attention. That being said, I find everything inspired by those time periods is worth experiencing. The teapot Behind Quiet Veils of the Blue Willow, created in 2000 by artist Red Weldon Sandlin, incorporates a story of star-crossed lovers — an idea that we’ve all heard about — that originated in the 1700s by Josiah Spode in order to market his mass-produced imitation tableware by illustrating traditional Chinese customs. Romanticized views of ancient Chinese legends, such as the story of Spode, grabbed the attention of Westerners and created a market for blue and white porcelain especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. Sandlin uses this story to not only incorporate Chinese customs, but also to instill the notion that change is inevitable.
The illustrations on this teapot come from the above-mentioned story, the story of the Blue Willow. The star-crossed lovers being from different social classes were not allowed to be together, so they hid. Their secret meetings under a willow tree kept them alive and more importantly, near each other. As they saw no end to their forced separation, they did something that is more common today — they eloped, in order to live together happily. This act of defiance was the beginning of change for the couple. Followed by more change the couple achieved what they always wanted, eternity together. They received this gift from their gods by being turned into doves and allowed eternal lives at their willow tree.
– Steven – Marketing Intern
Hello readers of the Newark Museum blog! I’m Amanda, a summer intern at the museum. I’ll be posting here sometimes about my adventures around the galleries and all the fun stuff going on here over the next few months. I encourage you to respond to the polls that I will be posting along with my blogs–we love hearing what you have to say and your feedback helps us improve our game!
I felt a bit underdressed walking through the Teapot Collection today! Surrounded by the dozens of teapots of different shapes, sizes and colors made me feel as if I needed to be wearing a more suitable dress to wear to an afternoon tea. The almost-tangible pink taffeta dress that John Singleton Copley painted in Portrait of Mrs. Joseph Scott (hanging in the Early American Portrait Gallery) would be perfect, if only it were real. But perhaps the Ballantine ladies’ closets could be available for some scavenging and borrowing. Please, curator Ulysses?
The Trumpeter teapot (China, for the Dutch market; Porcelain, enamel, 1750-60) caught my attention because of the depicted musician’s bright yellow garb, his deeply expressive face, and by the fact that the musician is actively playing the instrument, not merely holding it. A teapot is often associated with inaction and relaxation, women and domesticity, and purity and natural beauty. This “exotic” teapot, in contrast, is actually the complete antithesis of these preconceived notions. By capturing the essence of what the consumer is not, this teapot might serve one of two purposes: it could be the mode for a fantastical escape from domesticity or a subtle affirmation of one’s superiority over the “exotic” other. The design itself resists the classic context of the teapot, namely of a party of parlor ladies gossiping about their dramatic domestic lives, by depicting a man as the main figure on the art, who is captured during his action of playing music, on a black background. Therefore this “exotic” teapot, could invoke either feelings of resentment at the strictures of a genteel life or feelings of amusement over the oddities of the unfamiliar depending on the consumer’s level of contentment and satisfaction with the domestic lifestyle.
The wonderful thing about any museum is its unique capability to act as a time machine (without a flux-capacitor, nonetheless!) and transport the visitor to different time periods and cultures. Simply by looking at the porcelain Trumpeter teapot I felt as if I were a Dutch lady indulging in an “exotic” fantasy of a faraway land filled with young, handsome musicians. I highly encourage everyone to come explore the Newark Museum’s wonderful and rich collection of Decorative Arts to indulge in their own fantasies. But remember…dress to impress!
NEWARK, NJ– The teapot, that simple serving vessel for one of the world’s most popular beverages, has a glorious past that has historically combined functionality and art. Nowhere is that fact made more obvious than in the latest Newark Museum decorative arts exhibition The Teapot which will remain on view through 2013.
Sixty-six teapots in ceramics and silver, dating from the late 1600s to the present day, have been selected from amongst the hundreds of teapots in the Museum’s permanent collection by Ulysses Grant Dietz, Senior Curator and Curator of the Decorative Arts Collection. “These teapots embrace several hundred years of Western cultural history and demonstrate the endless design possibilities that this complex functional form has offered to inspire designers and craftspeople over the centuries,” Dietz said. “The Teapot is a unique exhibition of decorative art that chronicles history and excites the creative interest in all of us,” said Mary Sue Sweeney Price, Museum Director and CEO. “It also provides visitors with a prime example of the scope of the diverse collections cared for by the Newark Museum for future generations.”
According to Dietz, the teapot originated along with tea drinking, which started in China hundreds of years ago. However, the Chinese did not start using teapots until the early part of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The European fashion for drinking tea began in the middle of the 1600s, at the end of China’s Ming Dynasty. The teapot was, until the end of the 1800s, always functional, however ornamental it may have also been. As the idea of“the object as art” emerged with the Arts & Crafts movement in the late 1800s teapots appeared that were as much works of art as they were usable vessels for serving tea. In the second half of the twentieth century, non-functional teapots emerged as sculptural objects, presenting their creators with the potential for design and content that left utility behind.