Material and Meaning: Earthenware, Stoneware, and Porcelain from The Wolfsonian–FIU Collection
Material and Meaning explores the expressive and functional potential of different kinds of clay, and the varied design and production processes employed to make finished ceramics. The abundant array of design drawings and objects on display here exemplify how designers and artists, from the late nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth, adapted the inherent material qualities of earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain to achieve aesthetic, practical, and ideological goals. Clay is a versatile medium: ceramic objects can be held in our hands, decorate our homes, and be incorporated into the built environment around us. Ceramics are objects of both utility and ornament, articles of industry and commerce, and even vehicles of political persuasion. From luxury tea services to propaganda porcelains, and from ornate vases to unadorned, salt-glazed stoneware, Material and Meaning shows a remarkable range of objects created from a single substance.