Art Moderne by Louise Irvine Featured in Doulton Collectors Club

The WMODA lecture programme on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California has inspired me to look more closely at Royal Doulton’s contribution to the glamorous thirties. Launched in 1934, the Queen Mary was the largest and fastest liner of her time as well as the epitome of ocean-going sophistication. Her strong curves and geometric forms represent the elegance, function and modernity of Art Deco design in the age of speed and luxury travel.

All that Jazz

The roaring twenties were a period of economic prosperity in major cities such as London, Paris and New York. Pleasure-seeking flappers expressed their new found freedoms after the First World War and women won the right to vote in most major countries. Jazz music was all the rage and the wider use of automobiles, telephones and other technological advances influenced the modern lifestyle of the 1930s.  Hollywood’s motion picture industry created a celebrity culture of movie stars, many of whom traveled on the Queen Mary.

The Queen Mary made her maiden voyage across the Atlantic from Southampton to New York in 1936. According to Cunard’s advertising slogan, “Getting there is half the fun” and travelers could enjoy the journey as much as the destination. For first class passengers the experience was somewhere between being a guest in a grand stately home and staying in one of the world’s finest hotels. Tickets cost around $4,000 which is the equivalent of $95,000 in today’s currency.

On the Queen Mary voyages, the richest, grandest and most famous people in the world dined together and engaged in various social and sporting activities. The tantalizing prospect of rubbing shoulders with royalty or matinee idols added to Cunard’s glamorous appeal. You might meet the Duke and Duchess of Windsor promenading along the decks or spot Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Alfred Hitchcock or Walt Disney at a cocktail party.

Glitz & Glamour

Royal Doulton recreated the glitz and glamour of these floating parties with elegant figurines by Leslie Harradine, notably Rhythm and Aileen.  Other designs of the 1930s, such as Clothilde and The Mirror, capture the ambience of the cabin-class staterooms while the Bather and the Swimmer would have made a splash in either of the Queen Mary’s swimming pools. Sculptures of scantily draped or fully nude young women were very popular during the Art Deco era and Harradine responded with a series of nubile young ladies, including Celia, Dawn and The Awakening, artistically draped with diaphanous fabrics.

These seductive figurines were influenced by the work of Richard Garbe, Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, who created Royal Doulton’s first limited edition figures in the 1930s.  His studies of Spring and Salome were inspired by his original ivory carvings and produced in ivory glaze or tinted green. Garbe also designed some striking wall masks for Doulton which were offered in ivory, green and gold. The vogue for hanging masks of female faces was at its peak in the Art Deco era and Royal Doulton responded to this new taste in home décor with masks portraying Hollywood movie stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo.

Art and Industry

Richard Garbe’s work for Royal Doulton was shown at the British Art and Industry exhibition held at the Royal Academy in 1935. The relationship between art and industry was under review during this period and contemporary painters and sculptors were asked to help improve the quality of British design and manufactures. Royal Doulton had close connections with several established artists outside the ceramic industry, encouraged by their enlightened art directors C.J. Noke in Burslem and J. H. Mott in Lambeth.

One of Doulton’s longest relationships was with the sculptor Gilbert Bayes, who is best known for the Queen of Time clock erected above the entrance of Selfridge’s store in London in 1931. Bayes was responsible for the frieze on front of Doulton House in Lambeth entitled Pottery through the Ages and he exhibited several of his Doulton stoneware fountains and panels at the 1935 Royal Academy exhibition. A cast of his bronze sculpture of the Sea King’s Daughter was commissioned for the Queen Mary and he collaborated on one of the most impressive artworks on board the liner, an enormous carved gesso panel depicting Unicorns in Battle for the main cabin-class lounge. He also designed the commemorative medal for the Queen Mary.

Several distinguished artists of the period worked with Charles Noke at the Burslem Studio.  The painter Sir Frank Brangwyn designed a collection of tableware and Reco Capey, Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art, created vases and boxes for production at both the Burslem and Lambeth factories. Royal Doulton’s studio of women painting pottery during the Art Deco era was presented as “A Beautiful Industry” by the artist Charles E. Turner, who also illustrated RMS Queen Mary for a postcard.  Stylized, abstract motifs crept into a variety of Royal Doulton vase designs of the 1930s, which were hailed in the catalogs as “New Style”. A streamlined Art Moderne style emerged in design and architecture, stripping Art Deco of its ornament and emphasizing aerodynamic curves, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements.

Queen of the Seas

Noke’s new work during the 1930s included a series of limited edition loving cups and jugs, which were vigorously modeled in low relief and painted in glowing underglaze colours. Many of these prestige pieces were used to commemorate royal events of the period and feature portraits of the monarchs emblazoned with flags and regalia. The silver jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary was marked with a limited edition loving cup in 1935 and there were no less than three loving cups produced for the coronation of King Edward VIII, who was never crowned. However, as King he did tour RMS Queen Mary on the day before its maiden voyage on May 25th 1936 and he was a regular traveler as the Duke of Windsor following his abdication. Queen Mary, after whom the vessel was named, never sailed on her namesake although she officiated at the launch and toured the finished ship with her sons King Edward and the future King George VI along with her grand-daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth, the current monarch. Apparently the young princesses enjoyed watching a Mickey Mouse film in the cinema. Queen Mary remained a fan of Royal Doulton wares from her factory visit in 1913, when she named Darling HN1, to her shopping trips at the British Industries Fairs of the 1920s.

The Grey Ghost

In 1939, just 3 ½ years after the Queen Mary’s maiden voyage I, war broke out in Europe and she was painted battle-ship grey for military service. More than 15,000 troops were crowded on board for each journey to the arenas of war – there were even tiers of bunk beds in the swimming pool! Hitler offered a $250,000 reward to any submarine that could sink the “grey ghost” as she was known. Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister made the dangerous transatlantic crossing in 1943 as part of a war time delegation and became a frequent Queen Mary traveler in peace time.  Today there’s a suite and restaurant named for him on board and currently an exhibition of his artwork. Tribute was paid to Churchill in 1940 as part of Royal Doulton’s new character jug collection, which was Noke’s last design innovation of the 1930s.

Just Cruising!

RMS Queen Mary enjoyed more golden years after the war but eventually she could not compete with air travel. In 1958 the first Boeing 707 jets began regular services over the Atlantic.  Instead of six or seven days, sophisticates could now do the journey in as many hours.  After her final voyage the Queen Mary was moored in Long Beach in 1967, where she continues to host elegant events, such as Seaway China’s weekend party with Michael Doulton in September.  Nowadays cruising is mainly for pleasure and over the years Royal Doulton collectors have enjoyed trans-Atlantic crossings and tropical tours on the Cunard Queens and other great ships, organized by Pascoe & Company.

On January 23rd, 2017, a party of collectors will be cruising from Miami on a 10 day Caribbean cruise on board the Oceana Riviera. This luxury ship has been described as a floating art museum and on this cruise Royal Doulton and the ceramic arts will be the main feature of the Seminars at Sea program hosted by Louise Irvine. For further details contact Pascoe & Company 305.326.0060 info@pascoeandcompany.com

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Splash by Louise Irvine Featured in Doulton Collectors Club

Dive into Splash, a spectacular new exhibition at the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts which is making waves with its exhibition of ceramic and glass art inspired by the sea. Throughout history, fish, shells, mermaids, sailors and sea monsters have been represented in pottery, porcelain and glass. Dolphins in terracotta, porcelain mermaids and bizarre sea monsters are among the highlights below the waves. Bathing belles soaking up the sun enliven the seaside scene along with ‘old salts’ mending their nets. As well as all the fantastic and naturalistic underwater creatures, Royal Doulton artists have portrayed maritime history, including explorers who sailed the seven seas and empires seeking to rule the waves.

SHELLS OF PORCELAIN

A sea shell inspired the naming of porcelain. When Marco Polo, the Venetian traveler, first saw gleaming Chinese porcelain at the court of Kublai Khan in the 13th century, the color and texture reminded him of the cowry shell known as porcellana.  Cowry shells were used as currency and jewelry in many cultures. Shells have continued to inspire porcelain pieces and were very popular decorative devices during the 19th century. Vases encrusted with naturalistically modeled shells were among the earliest designs produced at Doulton’s factory at Burslem in the 1880s. A Vellum porcelain  table centerpiece for the Chicago exhibition of 1893 features two mermaids holding aloft a large shell with three clam-like shells at the base.

MYTHS & MERMAIDS

Tales of half-human half-fish creatures have circulated since ancient times.  In Medieval England, mermaids were seen as symbols of vanity and lust that lured sailors into danger. It is thought that sailors might have mistaken manatees nursing their young for mermaids and Christopher Columbus describes such a sighting in 1493,   “saw three mermaids which rose well out of the sea… they were not as beautiful as they are painted though they have something of a human face“. The Little Mermaid written by Hans Christian Anderson in 1836 has influenced most modern depictions of mermaids, including the famous Disney film.  The first Doulton mermaid for the HN collection by Harry Tittensor was used originally as a centerpiece for a floating flower bowl.

SETTING SAIL

“In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”. He ‘discovered’ America and the New World and inspired other adventurers to set sail on the seven seas to find new lands and treasures. He has been portrayed by Royal Doulton artists several times along with many other intrepid seafarers. Sir Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the world in 1580 and was knighted for his achievement by Queen Elizabeth I of England. During the 18th century, Captain Cook led many expeditions around the world including the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic and the Antarctic.  Admiral Lord Nelson was the hero of Britain during the French Napoleonic Wars and his naval victory in 1805 was still being commemorated in Doulton ware a century later.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

The pirates of the Caribbean are well known in Florida thanks to Disney and the swashbuckling films of recent years. However, the escapades of pirates were being romanticized in the 19th century by writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson in his 1883 novel Treasure Island. The sea-song “Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum” comes from these pages. Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance made its Broadway debut in 1879 and continues to parody the dashing outlaws on both sides of the Atlantic.  Bill Harper immortalized Gilbert and Sullivan’s characters for Doulton’s HN figure collection but not all his designs went into production.

LAND AHOY

Since prehistoric times, man has found sustenance in the oceans and rivers of the world. Royal Doulton artists have long romanticized these heroes of the seas together with their wives who wait patiently for their return. One of Doulton’s rarest figures features fisherwomen “Waiting for the Boats” which Charles Noke based on paintings, such as Mary Nicoll, who lived in a seaside town in the South of England, is particularly famous for her Royal Doulton figures of fisherman and sea-faring characters. During the 19th century, many hardy women plied their trade as fishmongers on the streets of major cities. Molly Malone, who wheeled her wheelbarrow through the streets of Dublin, is celebrated in song for her cry of “cockles and mussels alive-alive-o”.

SUN, SEA & SAND

Sea bathing was regarded as health-giving in the 19th century and British coastal resorts became fashionable with the social elite taking a dip in the salty waves. Ladies wore modest bathing dresses which covered their bodies from head to toe. In the 1920s, the new style American bathing suits became fashionable at lidos around the world and a bronzed body became a status symbol, indicating enough money to vacation in the sun. Royal Doulton recorded this new vogue in a collection of Art Deco bathers.

WONDERS OF THE DEEP

Accurate paintings of different fish species were popular for dinner services in the late 19th century. Doulton artists at the Burslem studio were commissioned by luxury stores such as Tiffany’s to hand paint individual plates for the fish and game sets used in affluent American homes.  The rouge flambé glaze of the ancient Chinese potters was rediscovered by Doulton in the late 1890s and the ruby red glaze was often painted with underwater scenes and embellished with golden fish. In the early 1900s, Charles Noke, modeled sea creatures especially for the new flambé glaze and this tradition continued into the new Millennium with the Burslem Artwares collection.

The grotesque sea monsters depicted by the Martin Brothers in the 1870s are said to represent creatures in the polluted drinking water of the River Thames as seen through a microscope. One of their artists, Mark V. Marshall, went on to work for Doulton’s Lambeth Studio and took with him a taste for the weird and wonderful as can be seen in his comical puffer fish. Doulton’s fishy creations were exhibited at the 1883 International Fisheries Exhibition in London, a cultural and scientific event which was largest in the world at that point attracting 2.6 million visitors.

Dolphins are a familiar sight frolicking in the waters of South Florida and the more adventurous tourists enjoy swimming with dolphins.  Tales of dolphins befriending humans reach far back into history. Aristotle wrote about dolphins “passionate attachment to boys” and Pliny the Elder recounted the story of a dolphin named Simo who gave rides to a young boy in AD77. Classical art abounds with images of dolphin riders and these influenced the first Doulton artist George Tinworth, who modeled terracotta statues for fountains and garden ornaments.

You should “never smile at a crocodile” according to the humorous children’s song. However, we can’t help smiling at Royal Doulton’s rare figure of a winged boy riding a crocodile from 1918. Sculptures from Roman antiquity show putti playing with crocodiles in representations of the River Nile. South Florida is the only place in the world where crocodiles co-exist with alligators. It is hard to believe that children were once posed sitting on these dangerous creatures for tourist photographs during the 1920s.

 POLE TO POLE

Why do polar bears not eat penguins?  Because they live at opposite ends of the world at the North and South Poles!  British scientific expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic began in the early 19th century.  James Clark Ross located the north magnetic pole in 1831 and then led an expedition to Antarctica charting most of the coastline. The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first person to reach both the North and South Poles. He led the race to the South Pole arriving in December 1911 just a short time before Robert Falcon Scott from Britain. Penguins are perhaps the most famous residents of the South Pole while polar bears dominate the food-chain in the North Pole with their diet of seals and fish.

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Art of Tea by Louise Irvine Featured in Doulton Collectors Club

The new Art of Tea exhibition at the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts in Florida has inspired Louise Irvine to look more closely at Royal Doulton’s contribution to the tea table. Pour yourself a cuppa and enjoy her story of tea.

Tea was first imported to England from China in the 17th century but at that time only the wealthy were able to enjoy the new beverage. Men were the first to savor the brew in London coffee houses until King Charles II’s Portuguese queen introduced the exotic beverage to the royal court. English ladies began to choose tea over ale as a breakfast drink and to entertain their friends at home.  Preparing tea after dinner was another social ritual that required an elaborate etiquette as well as the finest tea services.

The first teapots were made in China and shipped to England with the tea cargo. Affluent tea drinkers commissioned tea services in silver and used porcelain cups without handles.  Tea was very expensive as it was heavily taxed and this led to the lucrative business of tea smuggling. The British government relied on a steady stream of revenue from sales of ale and gin and as these drinks declined in popularity the duties in tea increased.  The health benefits of tea drinking were advocated widely and the temperance movement relied on tea as an attractive alternative to alcohol when persuading people to “sign the pledge”.

Afternoon Tea

The beloved English ritual of afternoon tea was introduced by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford in the 1840s. As a remedy to the ‘sinking feeling’ she experienced between meals in the late afternoon, she served tea, sandwiches and cakes at five o’clock for family and friends. Afternoon tea had become one of the major institutions of English social life by the late 19th century and ladies invited friends to indulge in tea, scandal and gossip. Guests dressed especially for the occasion until the First World War, wearing elaborate tea gowns trimmed with lace, ruffles and ribbons, as seen in the TV series Downton Abbey.

During the 19th century, the development of British tea plantations in India and the reduction of duty brought prices down and tea became Britain’s favorite brew for morning, afternoon and evening meals. The now affordable drink inspired the British pottery industry to provide expanded tea services, including a wide range of teapots, the centerpiece of this daily ceremony.

The Artful Teapot

The Doulton Lambeth pottery made robust brown stoneware teapots in their popular Hunting ware, which came in a variety of sizes during the 19th century.  The first Lambeth studio artists, including Hannah and Florence Barlow, decorated stoneware tea services with incised and applied motifs of animals and birds.  Less practical were the elegant tea wares made in Doulton’s Marqueterie ware which was patented in 1887. Only a small number of these thinly potted teapots and teacups have survived daily use which makes them very sought after today. The beautiful marbled effects were obtaining by cutting and compressing thin slices of colored clay from previously prepared blocks in emulation of old Agate ware.  The Lambeth studio artists then added gilded highlights and occasionally hand-painted scenes. The Victorian teapot was elevated to an art object in George du Maurier’s satirical cartoon in Punch magazine of 1880.  An intense young couple aspired to living up to their teapot in this illustration mocking the aesthetic movement.

Ingenious Designs

Tea wares in all the popular styles of the day were produced at Doulton’s Burslem factory, first in earthenware and then in bone china from 1884. The Royle’s Self Pouring teapot was invented in 1886 by a Manchester engineer and its labor saving qualities were appreciated by no less that Queen Victoria herself. There was no need to lift the heavy pot since it worked on a vacuum principle and a cup of tea came gushing out of the spout when the lid was raised and lowered. They were promoted as a boon for mothers of large families and Doulton made “Self Pouring” teapots in a variety of printed patterns and also in brown Kingsware. Teatime scenes with mottos and sayings were popular on Kingsware and Series ware teapots, including temperance maxims  such as ‘The cup that cheers  but not inebriates’.

Art Deco Designs

After the trauma of World War 1, the flappers of the 1920s were determined to enjoy life to the full. Tea was part of the fun at tea dances which were fashionable in chic hotels. After a quick foxtrot around the Palm Court, dancers could sip a refreshing cup of tea from one of the jazzy modern designs of the Art Deco era.  Teapots became square or conical and angular handles were in vogue. After dancing the night away, socialites would awake to ‘tea for two’ served on a stylish early morning set. The names of the new patterns conjure up the atmosphere of the era: Tango, De Luxe and Rialto.  Lady Poynter writing in a 1931 advertising brochure for Royal Doulton proclaimed that “A delicious early morning cup of tea in cheery china can send us singing to the day”.  To add to the stylish effect, Royal Doulton offered tablecloths to match the china in their most popular patterns. Collecting trios, including the cup, saucer and sandwich plate, in one of the chic designs of the Art Deco period is now a fascinating pursuit.

Potty Personalities

Novelty teapots were all the rage in the 1930s and all manner of unusual shapes were adapted for the tea table, including bunny rabbits and famous personalities.  Humorous teapots had been popular in England since Victorian times when the Minton factory created eye-catching Majolica designs in human and animal form.  The full potential of the human body as a teapot was realized in the late 1930s when Royal Doulton modeled three teapots inspired by their successful character jug collection. Two of the characters were from Charles Dickens’ novels which were particularly appropriate subjects for this treatment, verging as they do on caricature. Sairey Gamp was an unlikely candidate for a teapot design as she preferred alcoholic beverages.  Apparently it was difficult to enjoy her society without becoming conscious of a smell of spirits.  She did have a capacious teapot but used it as a container for her personal supply of spirits ‘from motives of delicacy.’

In 1989 the Royal Doulton International Collectors Club revived the idea of character teapots by commissioning artist Bill Harper to design the Old Salt teapot exclusively for members.  Bill followed this with three more character teapots, Falstaff, Long John Silver and Old Balloon Seller which were made for a couple of years.  The Bunnykins Teapots of the World collection was launched in 1994 echoing the rare Bunnykins teapot of 1939.

Tea on TV

Many collectors will remember the TV adverts for PG Tips featuring Ada the Chimp.  For more than 40 years the chimpanzees from Twycross Zoo were synonymous with British tea parties in these humorous adverts. Ada was immortalized by Royal Doulton as part of the Millennium Collection of advertising memorabilia. Another popular TV character, Hyacinth Bouquet, has made Royal Doulton china famous in Keeping Up Appearances.  Her china pattern, described as “Royal Doulton with the hand-painted periwinkles”,  is actually the Braganza pattern by Colclough China. Since Colclough was taken over by Royal Doulton in the early 1970s, Hyacinth is only stretching the truth a little although of course the flowers are not hand-painted!

Afternoon tea parties are experiencing a renaissance in the UK and the USA and ‘Harlequin’ tea sets, with every place setting in a different pattern, are now in vogue.  At the International Ceramics and Glass Fair in Florida in January, Michael Doulton hosted a ‘royal’ afternoon tea served on Royal Albert’s new china created in partnership with Australian super model Miranda Kerr.  Whether you use nostalgic new designs or vintage patterns, loose tea or teabags, take some time to revive this great British custom in your home with a collection of Royal Doulton tea wares.

Photographs are courtesy of Angela Scott, Larry Greshuk, Richard Buerk, WMODA, Seaway China and Pascoe & Company which has many tea-related items currently in stock.

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Seduction of the Flower by Louise Irvine Featured in Doulton Collector’s Club

The “Seduction of the Flower” exhibition currently at the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts in South Florida recreates the sensual delights of a floral paradise seen through the eyes of ceramic artists through the ages.  Many famous names are represented in this comprehensive exhibition, including Wedgwood, Moorcroft and Meissen, but here Louise Irvine highlights the work of the Royal Doulton Potteries.

The Victorian parlor was a haven of nature where genteel women pursued the floral arts. Flower arranging, botanical illustration, sentimental flower-pressing and gardening were just some of the gentle arts of the 19th century. The ceramics industry responded to this diverse ‘floral culture’ with a wide range of flower accessories for the home, including cache pots and jardinières for potted palms and aspidistras.

China painting became a very popular pastime among amateur and professional artists and ladies displayed their vases, plaques and tiles at annual exhibitions run by Howell and James of London. The Doulton Faience artists were regular prize winners at these fashionable events, having transformed the floral arts into a blossoming business at the Lambeth Pottery.

More than 150 women worked in Doulton’s Faience department as leading artists or assistants in the late 19th century. Many specialized in flower painting, either naturalistic studies or stylized designs in the Japanese, Persian or Art Nouveau manner. Most aspiring Doulton artists attended classes at the Lambeth School of Art and then trained under Miss Florence Lewis, who helped young women perfect their china painting techniques and also wrote a book on the subject. Miss Lewis was responsible for the towering Faience vase, standing over 6 feet tall, which dominates the WMODA exhibition.

The Lambeth Pottery also used salt-glaze stoneware for their floral designs. Tube-lining was a popular technique for delineating floral motifs, used particularly by Eliza Simmance and Frank Butler under the influence of the Art Nouveau style.  Butler further manipulated the clay by pushing out flower buds and seed pods to create decorations in high relief.

At Doulton’s Burslem Studio, an ivory blush porcelain body was fashionable in the 1880s and the first artists painted naturalistic floral designs which were outlined with raised gold traceries in a technique called Spanish Ware.  Patented by the Art Director, John Slater, this technique was sometimes combined with his other invention known as Chiné ware, which involved pressing lace or other textured fabric into the clay body.

Royal Doulton artists led the world in porcelain flower painting during the early 1900s. Edward Raby worked from nature and filled sketchbooks with flower studies which he then interpreted on porcelain. He was renowned for his brilliant compositions of roses and peonies and rich blending of colors, including a secret shade of mauve named after him. Roses are about the most difficult of all flowers to reproduce with freshness and simplicity. Edward Raby’s roses have been described as looking as if they had been ‘freshly picked with the dew still heavy upon their living petals’.

David Dewsberry was acclaimed as Royal Doulton’s orchid specialist and painted many different varieties at the conservatories of the stately homes near the Potteries. He spent 20 years painting orchids on bone china vases and cabinet plates, many of which were sold through luxury stores such as Tiffany’s of New York.  Percy Curnock was also famous for his exquisite flower paintings and spent nearly 70 years working for Royal Doulton, latterly in the figure-painting department. During the 1930s, many figurines were decorated with free-hand floral motifs by master porcelain painters, such as Curnock. Miniature flowers were painstakingly created petal by petal in moist clay and arranged in the ladies’ bouquets and baskets.

Miniature flowers were also used to accessorize the street vendors modeled by Leslie Harradine. The streets of London were once alive with colorful flower sellers calling for customers with their melodic cries. In the late 19th century, there were more than 2,000 flower girls at work in London.  They bought their stock at Covent Garden, the central market for fruit and flowers, and prepared bunches or button-holes to sell. This was the setting for the rags to riches story of Eliza Doolittle, the bedraggled Cockney flower girl portrayed in Shaw’s Pygmalion. As the flower sellers began to disappear from London, Harradine began to portray their bohemian lifestyle nostalgically, creating one of Royal Doulton’s most iconic figure collections.

Garden figures on a monumental scale were a specialty of the Lambeth factory from the 1840s onwards. A drawing of the early pottery shows a courtyard crammed with terracotta statues and garden vases. Throughout the 19th century, Doulton’s catalogs featured classical muses, nubile nymphs and playful cherubs modelled by the leading Lambeth artists. George Tinworth.  produced the terracotta sculpture of Cupid riding a dolphin in the exhibition and John Broad was responsible for the massive lion which was produced originally to flank memorial statues of Queen Victoria when she died in 1901.

Next time you visit Florida, Spanish for the ‘Land of Flowers’, be sure to visit the ‘Seduction of the Flower’ exhibition at WMODA located in the Gallery of Amazing Things at Dania Beach.

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Splash Opening at WMODA

The Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale are making waves once again with their latest collaboration inspired by the sea. Splash, the Sea in Ceramic & Glass Art opened on November 12th with a spectacular runway show. Several sea-inspired gowns designed by the AI Fashion School will be on display at the WMODA for the duration of the Splash exhibition. WMODA is open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. Continue reading

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Splash Fashion Show at the WMODA

On November 12th the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale collaborated with the WMODA and the Gallery of Amazing Things to present a spectacular runway show of sea-inspired fashions celebrating the opening of the exhibition Splash, the Sea in Ceramic & Glass Art. Thank you to our celebrity judges Eduardo de las Casas, Paul Neipert and Lucy Molina. The winning gown was designed by Jessica Melgarejo and modeled by Jazmyn Leininger. Continue reading

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Liquid Sky Laser puts on a sea-inspired light show at WMODA

Splash, the latest exhibition at the WMODA, opened on November 12th with a sea-inspired fashion show presented by the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in the Gallery of Amazing Things. Thanks to our sponsors Liquid Sky Laser who set the mood on opening night with an amazing light show.

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A Flair for Fashion at Gallery of Amazing Things | SouthFlorida.com

The Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts (WMODA) will host the “Flair For Fashion” exhibit of ceramic art and couture, beginning with a fund-raising preview party Sept. 18  from 6 to 10 p.m. to benefit the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. The reception will feature fashion-inspired porcelain art and a retrospective fashion show. Art Institute students will model costumes and designs they created based on couture depicted in works from the world’s top ceramic artists and factories. Mitchell Perry, Art Institute graduate featured on TV’s “Project Runway,” will make a special appearance at the party and showcase some of his contemporary fashion designs. The opening event also will offer “bites, bubbly and light beats by DJ Luna Continue reading

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Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts WMODA

flair-for-fashion-logoWMODA collections are amazing, nothing you will see anywhere else in Florida and might I dare to say even throughout the United States. The museum houses a unique collection of 19th & 20th century porcelain and British ceramics, 20th & 21st century works from the studio glass movement, and a collection of contemporary paintings, sculptures, and furniture.

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WMODA’s “A Flair for Fashion” Exhibit | SoFlaNights.com

A Flair for FashionJoin 200 years of Art and Fashion presented by the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts (WMODA) and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. From the moment you arrive, you will be immersed in a world of porcelain art and couture featuring a special fashion-inspired art exhibition by the WMODA plus a retrospective fashion show presented by Art Institute students, faculty, and alumni. Louise Irvine, Executive Director of the WMODA, has curated a fascinating exhibition entitled “A Flair for Fashion” highlighting 200 years of fashion through the eyes of various ceramic artists and sculptors. Enjoy bites, bubbly and light beats by DJ Luna as you take in two centuries of fashion and art. Meet Mitchell Perry from Project Runway: Season 13! Project Runway’s “Fan Favorite” will be here to meet guests, take pics and show off some of his original design sketches. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Art Institute Students are free with proper Student I.D. 100% of the proceeds will benefit The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale Educational Foundation allowing the non-profit foundation to offer educational scholarships to deserving students. Additional donations will also be accepted on this site and during the event.

WMODA’s “A Flair for Fashion” Exhibit | SoFlaNights.com.

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