This exhibition surveys the domestic space of the dining table and features nearly 150 functional ceramic works drawn from AMOCA’s 1,000-piece permanent collection. Each piece selected in this landscape of tableware is called upon to fulfill its purpose of serviceability, hospitality, visual interest, and tactile pleasure.
Elegant tea bowls and large platters influenced by traditional forms and glazes elevate the commonplace object of dinnerware to the level of creative expression. Teapots, tea cups, pitchers, and creamers that showcase whimsicality either in their shape or surface embellishment provide moments of punctuation and bring levity to the table setting. Plates, bowls, covered containers, and vases sporting riotous colors or decorative patterns serve as focal points and topics of conversation at the dinner table. Always playing to an audience, these domestic tabletop objects represent the civility, familiarity, and daily ritual of the dining experience. They also reflect on the long and rich history of functional pottery and celebrate the ceramic form for its sensuality of material and containment of meaning.
As you can surmise from the exhibition description and the twist in its title, this survey will be a light-hearted, fun and festive approach to tabletop ceramic wares. The exhibition is co-curated by Jo Lauria, independent curator, decorative arts and design specialist, and author; and Dr. Billie Sessions, Emeritus Professor of Art, California State University, San Bernardino, author and ceramic art researcher. Both guest curators currently serve on the museum’s Advisory Board.