Since early November, highlights from the Hooker collection have been installed in the Phillips and Norfleet Galleries, offering our visitors a first glimpse of this impressive group of objects. The exhibition showcases Mrs. Hooker's most impressive acquisitions and reveal her skill as a collector and connoisseur.
Mrs. Charlotte Stout Hooker of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, presented Dixon Gallery and Gardens with her impressive collection of over three hundred works of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English porcelain. A longtime trustee of the Dixon, Mrs. Hooker has collected fine examples of Worcester, Chelsea, Derby, Wedgewood, Plymouth, and other makers of English porcelain for more than four decades. Starting with a modest group of objects that her mother gave her in the 1960s, Mrs. Hooker steadily and judiciously worked to amass an important collection of English porcelain.
Mrs. Hooker always felt that her "love of porcelain came from growing up with the china that my mother hand painted in the 1920s." Mrs. Hooker is the daughter of Warda Stevens Stout, a well-known Memphian, who in 1985 bequeathed her collection of eighteenth-century German porcelain to Dixon Gallery and Gardens. The Stout collection is among the most important additions to the museum's collection since Hugo Dixon's bequest in 1976. When the Stout collection went on display at the Dixon in 1986, it instantly made the museum a significant destination for connoiseurs, collectors, dealers, and scholars. The works are always on view in the gallery that bears her name. Now, with the addtion of the Hooker collection of English porcelain, the Dixon's importance as a major repository for European porcelain in America has solidified.