Symposium | Garnitures: Vases in Interiors

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on January 24, 2017


Assembled garniture, porcelain from Jingdezhen and Dehua, China, 1650–1720, on an English japanned cabinet, ca. 1680, in the British Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Photo: Peter Kelleher).

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Garnitures: Vases in Interiors
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 17 March 2017

Organized by Matilda Pye, Patricia Ferguson, and Reino Liefkes

The focus of this one-day symposium is the garniture, assembled or matched sets of primarily ceramic vessels, displayed in European interiors from 1620 and 2017. It will contextualize and enhance the ground-breaking Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses, a temporary display in the Ceramics Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum, on view until 30 April 2017, and curated by Patricia Ferguson, Honorary Adviser on Ceramics to the National Trust, with Reino Liefkes, Senior Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum. The Headley Trust has generously supported the display, a publication of the same title and this symposium.

Many of the leading international ceramic specialists and contemporary makers will explore national differences in how European tastemakers and followers used garnitures to ornament and enliven interiors in the Netherlands, France, Saxony, and Britain. These displays were typically dictated by innovative architectural features in elite interiors, such as the development of the chimneypiece in France in the mid-seventeenth century, as well as the furniture types associated with these cultures and available materials: Asian porcelain, Dutch delftware, French faience, silver, and European porcelain. The papers will cover the use of the vase in China, its adaptation and collection in the West, the impact on the potteries in Japan and Delft and at porcelain manufactories in Germany at Meissen, and in France at Sevres, in addition to the revival of interest among collectors in the nineteenth century.

As evidence that artists and ceramicists are still fascinated by the idea of the series and repetition in forms, colours, and pattern, the day will conclude with papers by artists Edmund de Waal and Matt Smith—both well known for their site-specific ceramic work in museums, galleries, and historic houses—who will share their own personal responses to this interior phenomenon. Other speakers will include Dr. Yu-ping Luk, curator, Chinese collections, Asian Department, V&A; Patricia Ferguson; Suzanne Lambooy, curator applied arts, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands; Dr. Julia Weber, director, Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, Germany; Dame Rosalind Savill, DBE, FSA, FBA, President of the French Porcelain Society, and former Director of the Wallace Collection; Tamara Préaud, the former Archivist, Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, France, Selma Schwartz, Associate Curator, Waddesdon Manor, The National Trust. The conference will be of interest to students and scholars of Asian, European and Contemporary ceramics, silver, the country house, the history of the interior, collecting, and taste. The day will conclude with a lively round table discussion.

The full conference fee is £25; concessions available. To book, please follow this link.


10.00  Registration

10.30  Matilda Pye (Learning Academy, V&A), Welcome

10.35  Patricia Ferguson (Curator, Vase Sets from National Trust Houses), Introduction

11.00  Suzanne Lambooy (Gemeentemuseum, The Hague), Delft Garnitures in the Dutch Interior

11.25  Yu-ping Luk (V&A), The Vase in China

11.45  Ros Savill (Former Director Wallace Collection), Vincennes and Sevres Garnitures

12.15  Tamara Preaud (Former Archivist Sèvres, Cité de la céramique , Musée National de Sèvres), Evidence of Biscuit Figures in Sevres Garnitures

12.30  Discussion

12.45  Lunch Break

13.45  Selma Schwartz (Waddesdon Manor, National Trust), Collecting in the 19th Century: Sevres Garnitures at Waddesdon Manor

14.05  Julia Weber (Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden), Meissen and Garnitures in the Collection of Augustus the Strong

14.30  Refreshments

15.00  Edmund de Waal and Matt Smith, Contemporary Perspectives


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