DAS news/Special events

The Decorative Arts Society (DAS) has several events planned for the spring. Watch your mail for details. Those who are not current contributors may write to newsletter@DecArtsSociety.org for details.

Events & Exhibitions

Note: When the Decorative Arts Society receives notice of programs, exhibitions or events that occur between issues of the DAS Newsletter, we list them here as a service to those with an interest in the decorative arts. Upcoming events are listed by closing date.

Traditions in Transition: Change and Material Culture in the 19th-Century Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest
Sixth David B. Warren Symposium:
American Material Culture and the Texas Experience
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Houston, TX
February 24 and 25, 2017

Five scholars cover a range of topics, including painting, furniture, architecture and more, at Traditions in Transition: Change and Material Culture in the 19th-Century Texas, the Lower South and the Southwest.

The symposium honors David B. Warren, founding director emeritus of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, a Texana expert, and author of the recently published a biography Ima Hogg: The Extraordinary Cultural Patron behind the Unusual Name.

Sessions relative to the decorative arts include “On the Edge: The Neill-Cochran House, the Late Antebellum Era, and the Changing Face of Texas,” presented by Rowena Houghton Dasch, executive director, Neill-Cochran House Museum (Austin, TX), and “From the Palaces of Berlin to the Texas Frontier: The Furniture Designs of Prussian Architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel,” Serena Newmark, PhD candidate, Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany).

Registration: $35, general public; $30, MFAH members; $15, students; includes box lunch on Saturday. Register by February 3 to receive a $5 discount (does not apply to student pricing). Visit www.mfah.org/dbwsymposium for more information.

Recorded Matter: Ceramics in Motion
American Museum of Ceramic Art
Pomona, CA
Through February 26, 2017

Recorded Matter: Ceramics in Motion features 11 internationally based ceramic artists integrating video into their studio practice. The exhibition is organized and curated by Garth Johnson, curator of the Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center.

Physical objects accompany several of the videos , including Recycled China by Thomas Schmidt and Jeffrey Miller, Americans who taught and made work in China. During their time together there, they started crushing cast-off plates (from the porcelain capital of Jingdezhen) with a steamroller. They took theshards to an industrial foundry and smothered them in molten aluminum. The five-channel video of their process recently helped win a Bronze Prize in the Korean Gyeonggi Ceramic Biennial.

Featured artists include Sam Brennan, Forrest Sincoff Gard, Ben Harle, Jo Kamm, Roberto Lugo, Cheyenne Rudolph, Jason Lee Starin, Eva Vogelsang, Man Yau, and Schmidt and Miller.

The exhibition is supported by the Urban Foundation #4.

Don Reitz & Ben Roti: tran•si•tions
American Museum of Ceramic Art
Pomona, CA
Through April 2, 2017

This exhibition showcases the ceramics work of the late Don Reitz and his apprentice/assistant Ben Roti.

Born in 1929, Reitz received his BS in art education from Kutztown State College in 1957 and his MFA in ceramics from Alfred University in 1962. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison until 1988, when he retired as professor emeritus after 25 years and relocated his studio to Clarkdale, AZ. He created a broad spectrum of work using different firing methods and scale. He was best known for reviving the centuries-old technique of salt firing, in which salt added to a hot kiln yields textured surfaces unlike those made with conventional glazes.

In 1982, Reitz was injured in a car crash. He could not work the clay as much and relied on color in his work that he said helped him heal. He recovered enough to resume large-scale projects.

Among his honors are a gold medal from the American Craft Council, the organization’s highest award. His work is in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC), Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY), Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MA) and elsewhere. He died in 2014.

Roti attended the University of Iowa from 2006 to 2010 and graduated with a BFA degree in ceramics. During college, his ceramic work concentrated on the elements of world conflict, culminating in his BFA show, The Cost of War.

After finishing his BFA, Roti worked as a studio assistant to Reitz from 2006–2010. He assisted with workshops in Montana and Florida and was instrumental in the installations of gallery shows in Chicago, Denver and Kansas City. At the Reitz Ranch, he furthered his knowledge of atmospheric firing with wood and salt types, as well as a soda kiln in St. Petersburg, FL. He also helped construct and repair kilns. Since leaving the Reitz Ranch, Roti has created functional works using low-fire earthenware clay and has begun to develop a new body of work. Using reductive techniques, through sandblasting, he builds variations and creates layers that are inspired by atmospheric firing.

A Kaleidoscope of Color: Studio Glass at the Palmer
Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University
University Park, PA
Through April 30, 2017

Interest in contemporary glass on the part of collectors, galleries and museums has grown exponentially in recent years, more than a half-century after the founding of the studio glass movement in the early 1960s.

A Kaleidoscope of Color highlights newly acquired works from the studio glass collection of Bette (’58) and Arnold Hoffman (’57). Recent gifts from Audrey and Norbert Gaelen (’47) and Julia K. Muller and Earl K. Shreckengast (’72) are featured, as well as a selection of pieces from private collections, including promised gifts from Barbara Palmer and from Bill (’60) and Honey Jaffe.

The international roster of glass artists working today includes Therman Statom, Lino Tagliapietra, Martin Janecky, Tobias Møhl, Etsuko Nishi, Oben Abright, Daniel Clayman, Hiroshi Yamano, John Kiley, Dante Marioni, Nick Mount, Richard Marquis, Youko Sano and many others.

Adrian: Hollywood and Beyond
The Museum at FIT
New York, NY
March 7–April 1, 2017

Paris Refashioned, 1957–1968
The Museum at FIT
New York, NY
Through April 15, 2017

Visions from the Lathe: Selections from the Massachusetts South Shore Woodturners
Fuller Craft Museum
Brockton, MA
Through June 5, 2016

In 1996, about 10 people founded the Massachusetts South Shore chapter of the American Association of Woodturners. Today, more than 60 woodturners are part of a group that promotes an appreciation of wood through education, demonstrations and public displays. Visions from the Lathe marks the 20th anniversary of the chapter and brings together a variety of approaches to form, color, grain and texture.

Creating Context: Glass in a New Light
45th annual Glass Art Society Conference
Corning Museum of Glass
Corning, NY
June 9–11, 2016

Recent DAS events

February 2016 DAS tour features Georgia museum exhibition, Green Symposium and private collections

The DAS brightened the dreary days of February by offering contributors a private, curator-led tour of the decorative arts collections of the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA) organized just for the DAS, followed by participation in the Henry D. Green Symposium on southern decorative arts (Athens, GA) and tours of private collections.
The group gathered at the High Museum and traveled by motor coach to Athens, GA, to attend the two-day symposium and enjoy private collection visits arranged especially for the DAS.
The trip concluded with a visit to the home of renowned collector William N. Banks in Newnan, GA.
Details of this exciting event are featured in the spring 2016 issue of the DAS newsletter. The newsletter is a benefit of contributing to the DAS.

DAS tours Chicago symposium, exhibition and private collections

The DAS enjoyed a fascinating weekend in Chicago in March 2015, with tours and collections visits to the Art Institute of Chicago and private collections.

Activities included a tour of Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690–1840, led by Christopher Monkhouse, the institute's Eloise W. Martin Chair and curator of European Decorative Arts. This loan exhibition highlights 300 objects that explore the culture of Ireland during the 18th century.

We also heard Stella Tillyard, author of The Aristocrats, deliver the keynote address for the related symposium Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690–1840, and attended other lectures in the symposium. Topics and speakers included "Buying and Selling: The Transfer of Art in and out of Ireland," Robert O’Byrne, independent scholar, author of Romantic Irish Homes (2009) and The Last Knight, A Tribute to Desmond Fitzgerald, 29th Knight of Glin (2013); "Irish Furniture," James Peill, co-author (with the Knight of Glin) of Irish Furniture (2007) and curator of the Goodwood Estate; "Patina, Pomp and Prestige: Silver in Ireland, 1690–1840," Alison FitzGerald, lecturer, National University of Ireland, Maynooth; "Burned with Turf: The Unique Charm of Irish Ceramics and the Myths of Irish Glass," Peter Francis, independent scholar and author of Irish Delftware (2000); and closing remarks by Julian Sands, actor and Irish silver collector.

Among the private tours was one of the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, commissioned in 1879 by the Chicago banker Samuel Nickerson and recently restored by the philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus, with a greeting from Lise Dubé-Scherr, executive director. This is one of the most sumptuous Gilded Age mansions in America. After the tour, we had the opportunity to view the exhibition Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry.

We also viewed an exquisite private collection of decorative arts and conversed with the owners, and saw a distinguished private collection of Americana in downtown Chicago.

Further details are in the fall 2015 issue of the DAS Newsletter.

Past DAS events

For a listing of past DAS events, click on the date links at the right of the Events section. (The listings will be updated shortly.)