Enfilade

Exhibition | Cross-Pollination

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 26, 2017

Dish from Chelsea Porcelain Factory, ca.1760; glazed porcelain with enamel; approximately 10 × 8 inches (Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Melanie Redler from the collection of Dr. and Mrs. Irving Redler, 188:2015).

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Opening next month at the Saint Louis Art Museum (along with Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015, which was previously on view in Los Angeles and Sydney) . . .

Cross-Pollination: Flowers in 18th-Century European Porcelain and Textiles
Saint Louis Art Museum, 26 May — 26 November 2017

Curated by Genevieve Cortinovis

Intoxicated by scientific discovery, the fervor for natural science, particularly botany, reached new heights in 18th-century Europe. Botanical gardens and nurseries flourished, as did expertly illustrated albums describing flora and fauna of the Old and New World in tantalizing detail. Naturalism triumphed across the decorative arts, but especially in textiles and porcelain, where the media’s vibrant colors and painterly effects allowed for particularly artful and accurate botanical imagery.

The exhibition will feature a number of artworks never before exhibited at the Museum. Outstanding recent acquisitions include a rare silk damask by the English textile designer Anna Maria Garthwaite and an exceptional porcelain tureen and stand from a little-known Meissen dinner service. Two mid-18th-century dresses made of exquisite floral silk will be presented alongside recent gifts of Chelsea porcelain delicately painted with sprays of lilies, roses, and violets.

Cross-Pollination also examines potential sources for floral imagery by presenting rare illustrated books and plant specimens on loan from the Missouri Botanical Garden. The result is an interdisciplinary look at the dialogue between fashionable goods, nature, and natural science in the 18th century.

Cross-Pollination is curated by Genevieve Cortinovis, assistant curator of decorative arts and design at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

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