DAS news/Special events

The Decorative Arts Society (DAS) is planning a trip to Upstate New York for early November 2017. 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.

Gauguin: Artist as Alchemy
Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL

Through September 10, 2017

Many art lovers may not think of Paul Gauguin in terms of the decorative arts, but he was a major figure in that arena, as this exhibition makes clear.Gauguin became an artist after traveling the world as a merchant marine and working as a stockbroker’s assistant. He explored and created works in a wide range of materials, including wood, wax and ceramics.

Gauguin spent the first six years of his life in Peru and, as an adult, lived in Paris, Brittany, Martinique, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. When he first traveled to Tahiti, he found that much of the local culture had been transformed by colonization. The works he created there are not historically accurate, but his reimagining of what the island might have once been.

In addition to working as a painter, sculptor, ceramist, printmaker and decorator, Gauguin also invented new processes in many of these areas.

Eternal Offerings: Chinese Ritual Bronzes from the Minneapolis Institute of Art
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Hartford, FL
Through September 10, 2017

Eternal Offerings showcases nearly 100 Chinese bronze objects from the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MN). The Ringling is the exclusive venue for this exhibition. The works span millennia, revealing the evolution of the use of bronzes in Chinese society andhighlight how these objects were used to conduct religious rituals, record significant events and represent elite status from the Shang through Han dynasties (1600 BCE to 220 CE). Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Recent DAS events

See our current newsletter (Spring 2017) for coverage of late-2016 and early-2017 DAS tours.

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.)