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"Traditions in Elegance: Two Centuries of British Teapots from the Norwich Castle
2001-04-21 until 2001-06-17
Columbia Museum of Art
One hundred teapots from the 18th and early 19th centuries will be on view at the Columbia Museum of Art on April 21 from the Twining Teapot Gallery at the Norwich Castle Museum, Norwich, England. The evolution of teapot shapes is shown in examples that range from classically inspired silhouettes to rococo motifs -- including forms that resemble fruits and vegetables.
The collection chronicles the technical developments of ingenious potters who experimented with ornamental processes such as glazes that resemble metal and with the formulation of different types of clay to produce agate, jasper and tortoiseshell-like decoration. Spode, Wedgwood, Staffordshire and Worcester teapots are represented. The world’s largest teapot, made around 1851 for London’s Great Exposition and decorated with enamel ornament, has a 13-gallon capacity and is a highlight of the exhibition.
Traditions in Elegance explores the stylistic evolution of teapots and the English customs of tea preparation and tea drinking. During this period, the teapot was the focal point of an elegant tea table and represented the taste of the hostess and reflected the stylistic changes that swept England’s and America’s decorative arts. This exhibition presents the finest objects from a social convention that required fashionable accoutrements, formalized protocol, prescribed etiquette and symbolic rituals.
This exhibition was organized by Norfolk Museums Service, R. Twining and Company Ltd. and The Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey. It is made possible through the generous support of Twinings.