Gallery 277a, second floor
This exhibition of some fifty objects borrowed from local collections celebrates the pottery made in England from the end of the seventeenth century to the early decades of the nineteenth. It pays tribute to the inventiveness and ingenuity of the mostly anonymous potters who created it. The pottery on view was made beginning in the seventeenth century in what was little more than a craft industry, but one that by the mid-eighteenth century was producing ceramics on an industrial scale and supplying markets in Europe and as far away as the New World. The materials and techniques represented in the exhibition range from tin-glazed earthenware of a type known as delftware, named after the city in The Netherlands where it originated, to salt-glazed stoneware and cream-colored earthenware. Produced in many cases under the harshest conditions for strictly utilitarian purposes, this pottery is today valued by collectors for its idiosyncratic potting and naïve, sometimes whimsical, decoration.
Donna Corbin • Associate Curator of European Decorative Arts