Long-time LACMA benefactor MaryLou Boone has amassed the West Coast’s finest collection of French faience and soft-paste porcelain, 25 pieces of which she gave to LACMA in 2010. (Although originally made to emulate hard-paste porcelain imported into Europe from Asia, faience and soft-paste porcelain ultimately became distinctive and sought-after ceramics in their own right.)
The exhibition comprises over 130 pieces from the foremost manufactories of the era, representing myriad aesthetic influences, as well as advances in technology and the rhythms of domestic life. The collection includes wares for dining and taking tea, for storing the many toiletries necessary for a stylish appearance, and for preparing mixtures that comforted in time of sickness. Inextricably intertwined with every day duties and diversions, these objects provide a unique view of French life and culture.
The accompanying exhibition catalogue, Daily Pleasures: French Ceramics from the MaryLou Boone Collection, includes more than 145 entries of French faience and porcelain from the collection, as well as essays about the collector and 17th and 18th-century French ceramics.