With its familiar white classical figures against a pale-blue background, Wedgwood has been one of the most recognizable brand names in the world for more than two hundred yearsathe epitome of quality and luxuryaand the Enlightenmentas most remarkable success story.
Born into a family of struggling potters, Josiah Wedgwood amassed a fortune that, at his death in 1795, was valued at the equivalent of $3.4 billion in todayas dollars and helmed an empire that stretched from England to Russia to the United States. As a member of the famous Lunar Society, whose members included James Watt, Joseph Priestley, and Erasmus Darwin, he combined rationality with bold experimentation, revolutionizing the business model of his time with a series of innovations that have continued to this day:
a Organizing skilled labor in one of the worldas earliest factories
a Encouraging employee loyalty by offering long-term contracts that included health insurance and pension plans
a Changing the very notion of shopping by utilizing showrooms and traveling salesmen
The story of how phenomenal wealth affected the lives of a family and of the turbulent political climate that threatened their very livelihood, this vivid and compelling portrait of a pioneer of commercial culture is sure to be a hit with loyal collectors and the business market alike.
- First publication of the complete Lotte Reimers Foundation Collection - Three hundred ceramic art objects by 115 international artists Selected artists: Ingeborg & Bruno Asshoff (DE), Antje Br ggemann (DE), Claudi Casanovas (ES), Claude Champy (FR), Daphne Corregan (US), Anne Currier (US), Pippin Drysdale (AU), Karl Fulle (DE), Gerd Kn pper (JP), Beate Kuhn (DE), Enric Mestre (ES), Ken Mihara (JP), Herman Muys (BE), Thomas Naethe (DE), Suku Park (RK), Lotte Reimers (DE), Lucie Rie (UK), Reinhold Rieckmann (DE), Karl & Ursula Scheid (DE), Roland Summer (AT), Ann Van Hoey (BE), Gotlind Weigel (DE), Robin Welch (UK) The 300 works of the Lotte Reimers Foundation showcase the wide spectrum and the diversity of modern ceramic art. The works by 115 international artists, from classical vessels to free sculpture, are to now permanently move to Friedenstein Castle in Gotha, giving rise to this comprehensive publication. As a former gallerist and museum director as well as passionate ceramicist, Lotte Reimers is profoundly grounded in the material and with her unmistakable flair has compiled this collection, which will now remain within the museum. Her engagement and life-long fostering of ceramic art makes her one of the most significant personalities in the European ceramic scene. Text in English and German.
In the mid-20th century, ceramics evolved from a utilitarian craft or therapeutic hobby into a well-recognized fine art that continues to occupy a place in today's art world. In this pioneering study, leading scholar Martha Drexler Lynn explores how and why this shift occurred by examining the pivotal period for the maturation of American studio ceramics. Lynn traces critical developments in ceramics education, exhibition, patronage, and technology from 1940 to 1979, as magazines dedicated to the practice appeared, institutional support flourished, audiences grew, and star artists emerged. The most in-depth history of American studio ceramics to date, this book is the first to fully explore the works of art alongside the societal trends that shaped them and the organizations that propelled the movement. Lynn considers the movement's fluctuation across geographic regions as well as stylistic responses to advances in technology and cultural influences from across the United States and abroad. Key patrons and practitioners such as Aileen Osborn Webb, Glen Lukens, Peter Voulkos, and Robert Arneson are featured alongside lesser-known figures. This groundbreaking volume illustrates how studio ceramics came to define itself and challenged the boundaries between fine art and craft. It will be a definitive resource on the movement for years to come.
A New York Times Bestseller
An Economist Book of the Year
Costa Book Award Winner for Biography
Galaxy National Book Award Winner (New Writer of the Year Award)
"Body of Clay, Soul of Fire" will delight art lovers, potters, and collectors, as well as everyone who is interested in Japanese and Benedictine traditions.
Richard Bresnahan is a preeminent American potter and an ambassador for the natural environment. Reared on a farm in North Dakota, he graduated from Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and apprenticed as a potter in Japan. Returning to Saint John's, where he is an artist in residence, he built a massive wood-burning kiln, which, with its innovative flame flues and water channels, dwarfs all other North American kilns. By digging his own clay, using local seeds and hulls as glazing materials, and firing with deadfall, Bresnahan also practices a brand of environmentalism worthy of his Benedictine surroundings.
Grayson Perry, renowned for his ceramic vases decorated with shocking, unconventional imagery, rose to fame in 2003 when he won the Turner Prize. Since then, Perry has remained an important voice in the arts and the contemporary discussion of gender--in 2016, he published the critically acclaimed book The Descent of Man. Perry's hard-hitting yet exquisite work, which also includes tapestry, prints, sculpture, and drawing, references his own upbringing and his life as a transvestite while engaging with broader issues, from war and religion to politics and sex.
Grayson Perry, now in an expanded and updated edition to cover his work up to 2019, explores Perry's art through a discussion of his major themes and subjects. Jacky Klein's text is complemented by intimate and insightful commentaries on individual pieces by the artist, giving unique access to his imaginative world and creative processes. Over 225 of Perry's works are illustrated, as well as a rich selection of the visual material that has inspired him, from Afghan war rugs, Sumatran batiks, and medieval altarpieces to the paintings of Pieter Bruegel and the American outsider artist Henry Darger.
The artists of the influential Rörstrand porcelain factory in Sweden created some of the most beautiful decorative objects of the Art Nouveau style. In his fascinating and authoritative text, Bengt Nyström focuses on the Rörstrand factory's designers and their revolutionary forms during the period 1865 to 1915, when the firm successfully competed artistically with Tiffany and Gallé in the great international expositions that showcased and helped to propagate the Art Nouveau style.
Inspired by late 19th-century crafts movements fathered by William Morris, the artists of the Rörstrand factory took nationalistic pride in incorporating their indigenous flora and fauna into their exquisite designs, transforming wintry berry springs and northern sea creatures into elegant three-dimensional works of art that appealed to a sophisticated European clientele.
Illustrated with objects from Robert Schreiber's outstanding collection, supplemented with craftsmen's drawings and archival documents, Nyström's thoroughly researched text includes engaging glimpses of the culture surrounding Rörstrand (a former castle), especially the close-knit community of insightful administrators, talented designers and inventors, and artisans. The book chronicles not only the company's artistic achievements but the day-to-day personalities and decisions behind the emergence of this once-utilitarian factory as the birthplace of some of Sweden's most beautiful decorative objects.