Cover image for China and glass in America, 1880-1980 : from tabletop to TV tray
China and glass in America, 1880-1980 : from tabletop to TV tray
Venable, Charles L. (Charles Lane), 1960-
Publication Information:
Dallas, Tex. : Dallas Museum of Art ; New York : Distributed by H.N. Abrams, [2000]

Physical Description:
496 pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm
General Note:
Catalog of an exhibition held at the Newark Museum, Mar. 15-June 18, 2000 and the Dallas Museum of Art, July 23, 2000-Jan. 7, 2001.
Added Corporate Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library NK4695.T33 C58 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
Clarence Library NK4695.T33 C58 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
East Aurora Library NK4695.T33 C58 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library NK4695.T33 C58 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library NK4695.T33 C58 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
City of Tonawanda Library NK4695.T33 C58 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Illustrated with over 200 photographs of glass and ceramic objects, this book takes a comprehensive look at modern tableware used in American homes, focusing on its cultural and business history, as well as its design.

Author Notes

Dr. Charles L. Venable, a prizewinning author, is Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Dallas Museum of Art
Stephen G. Harrison is Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts at the Dallas Museum of Art
Dr. Katherine C. Grier is a professor at the University of South Carolina
Ellen P. Denker is a museum consultant, a scholar in ceramics and cultural history, and Archivist at Lenox Brands in Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Tableware, from everyday dishes to "good china," embodies the zeitgeist in particularly intimate and revealing forms. The 200 exceptional pieces on display in this handsome, entertaining, and richly informative catalog represent a century's worth of social, technological, and aesthetic change. Venable, chief curator at the Dallas Museum of Art, and his coauthors provide lively and knowledgeable commentary on the forces that inspired diverse tableware styles, fueled the evolution of pottery and china industries, and instigated the move toward convenience and durability in tableware design, a shift reflective of the women's liberation movement. The dishes displayed range from the most delicate of bone china to hardy Fiestaware, and from the gorgeously organic to the sparest of geometric shapes and patterns. Examples of Red Wing pottery and Franciscan china alternate with Depression-era glassware and postwar plastic, while classic dining sets are contrasted with speciality dishes for holidays and other occasions. Perhaps because meals are central to home life, tableware arouses curiously strong feelings, especially for readers who recognize the dishes of their childhood. --Donna Seaman

Choice Review

In each of five chapters Venable (Dallas Museum of Art) and colleagues discuss, chronologically, aspects of their subject: (1) the choices made by the middle classes for tableware in the home; (2) American tableware makers; (3) the role of imported china and glass; (4) marketing; and (5) the interrelated roles of design, industry, and the consumer. Popular magazines and advertising and trade journals are among the many resources used to explicate the stories. Short essays are interspersed throughout on individual firms--Montgomery Ward, Fostoria Glass, Lenox China, Rosenthal & Co., etc.--altogether a wealth of information. The chronological selection of beautiful illustrations in each chapter makes it difficult to sense the flow of taste represented in the exhibition this book accompanies. A detailed catalog, however, is included at the end of the volume. The subtitle, "From Tabletop to TV Tray," sums up the transformation from an era when ample tableware was used daily in the average household to today when fewer and fewer utilitarian dishes are used and, paradoxically, "old" or antique tableware is often avidly purchased but used only occasionally. An excellent reference work. Recommended for general readers, researchers, and specialists. J. J. Poesch; emeritus, Tulane University

Table of Contents

Director's Forewordp. 7
Lenders and Donorsp. 9
Acknowledgmentsp. 11
Prefacep. 13
Chapter 1 Dishes and More Dishes: Tableware in the Homep. 17
Chapter 2 Getting a Piece of the Pie: American Tableware Makersp. 103
Chapter 3 Foreigners at Our Table: Imported China and Glassp. 185
Chapter 4 From Warehouse to Your House: Tableware Marketingp. 285
Chapter 5 Design, Industry, and the Consumerp. 325
Afterwordp. 417
Catalogue Documentationp. 420
Referencesp. 471
Figure Creditsp. 480
Indexp. 483

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