Flowers from Earth and Sand: Art Glass and Ceramics, 1880-1950

September 12, 2010 - December 12, 2010

TIffany glass goblet

The names Art Nouveau and Art Deco only partly describe a series of bold innovations in decorative art that happened between the 1880s and the 1930s. Glassmakers like Louis C. Tiffany and René Lalique are familiar to anyone interested in the art of the 1890s and 1920s, but equally brilliant artists worked in ceramics across Europe during the same period. The glazes and ornament designs of artists like the French Clement Massier and the craftsmen of the Hungarian Zsolnay Factory will come as a revelation to viewers.

Blending the resources of the Ackland Art Museum, a notable private collection, and additional loans, this exhibition surveys a rich variety of decorative styles and techniques for manipulating glass and clay. Nearly a hundred examples of luxury vases and other vessels with accompanying prints, posters, and illustrated books show how the style expressed in these luxury objects also infused popular culture.

Image: Louis Comfort Tiffany, American, 1848-1933; Flower Form, c. 1903; glass with striated feathering and iridescence, 11 1/4 x 5 3/16 in. (28.5 x 13.1 cm); Gift of Dorothy and S.K. Heninger, Jr. and the William A. Whitaker Foundation Art Fund, 94.1.3