Subjects and Objects

This past weekend, the Dixon opened two new exhibitions:  Henri Guérard and the Phenomenon of the Artist’s Fan in France, 1875 – 1900 and Everyday English: The Charlotte Stout Hooker Collection of British Porcelain. Both exhibitions, though totally different in visual nature and historical scope, have some things in common. First, they are accompanied by beautifully written and illustrated exhibition catalogues. Exhibition catalogues are a wonderful way to share the art and scholarship included in an exhibition with the rest of the world: while the works in both shows are only on view at the Dixon for the next twelve weeks, the catalogues will live on forever. Henri Guérard and the Phenomenon of the Artist’s Fan in France, 1875 – 1900 and Elegant English: The Charlotte Stout Hooker Collection of British Porcelain and Related Ceramics are available for purchase at 20Twelve at the Dixon.

Second, Fans and Everyday English both take objects (fans and porcelain) as their subjects.  While nineteenth-century French artists were concerned more with the fan shape as a work surface for painting, the hand fan, then an everyday accessory, was their inspiration. Indeed, a few of the fans in the exhibition are functional. Speaking of function, the majority of the ceramics in Everyday English were made to serve some sort of function in the home, primarily related to dining. Useful wares such as plates, teapots, cups, and saucers are the subject of the exhibition. This allows these spectacular, yet functional objects to be viewed as works of art and provide insight into social conditions and dining customs in the eighteenth century.

Posted by Chantal Drake at 4:04 PM
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