The Wedgwood Society of New York
March 2001 Lecture Topic and Meeting Notice

The Minton Factory: An Overview of the Ornamental Tour de Force from 1851-1886

Speaker: Jonathan Allen Preece

Jonathan Allen Preece is a Graduate of the University of Glasgow, Scotland and The Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah Georgia. He is a decorative arts enthusiast with concentrations in 18th and 19th century English ceramics, gilding and the painted finish. He was formerly the exhibition curator for the Minton Museum, Staffordshire, England planning special exhibitions throughout Britain and Japan. Presently Mr. Preece is the Executive Vice President of the Finishing School Inc. and runs the Finishing Source, a division of the company that works closely with leading architects and interior designers. His main focus is towards special hands on period style workshops, and other developments promoting the company's new waterborne technology of decorative painting and gilding.

The Minton Factory was at its true height of innovation and design from the middle to later half of the nineteenth- century; establishing a reputation internationally as the one of the most majestic and sophisticated ceramic manufacturers. It was during this time the Factory soared to incredible heights under the direction of Herbert Minton, who spared no expense and employed the best designers, sculptors and artists in all of Europe to implement new technological advances and production techniques in bone china, parian and earthenware. Therefore, in result, some of the most exciting and spectacular ornamental pieces in ceramic history were made exceeding all normal proportions and scale; taking the guise of thirty foot high fountains, life-sized peacocks, elephants, Blackamoor figures, monumental vases, jardinieres, candelabrums and tiered centre-pieces. Why were these ornamental wares created? Were such objects functional or purely decorative? What did they look like? Where were they exhibited? In this lecture Jonathan Allen Preece, former Exhibition Curator of The Minton Museum, Staffordshire England, will discuss the real reasons behind producing such tour de force objects, demonstrating the Factory's exciting innovative techniques of majolica, pate-sur-pate, acid etched gold and hand painting. The evenings discussion will be illustrated based on images from primary evidence found within the Minton Archives; linking such pieces to world exhibitions and royal commissions that exceeded the work of all competitors and awarded the highest medals and critical accolades for artistic merit and technological accomplishments.

Place: Sotheby's 1334 York Avenue, New York, NY

Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001
Time: 7:00 PM Lecture

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