Catalogue of a travelling exhibition organized by The Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum.; "At its best, Italian maiolica seems as it were to concentrate the quintessence of all the qualities which go to make up the greatness and abiding charm of Italian art. Herein lies, I think, its unique fascination.". These words by the great art historian Tancred Borenius open the introduction to this catalogue, and the magnificent full colour illustration which follow reinforce this view.
The exhibition here represented is the product of a collaboration between the Corcoran Gallery of Art, which possesses, in the Wiilliam A. Clark Collection, one of the richest and most comprehensive assemblages of Italian Renaissance maiolica in America, and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, whose curator, Wendy M. Watson, is a leading expert in this field and undertook to organize the project and produce the catalogue. The resulting exhibition is to travel, over a period of three years from Mount Holyoke to the museums of Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin, Bowdoin College, and the University of Minnesota, as well as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and the Dayton Art Institute, before ending its tour at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC. The author's twenty-page introduction to the catalogue is a serious and thoughtful contribution to the history of this fascinating, and too little known, branch of Italian art. She also provides, for each of the seventy exhibits, a detailed individual description and commentary with provenances and bibliographical notes, often accompanied by one or more black and white illustrations as well as the full colour plate. The main entries are followed by a checklist of the remaining fifty works on the collection, each with a condensed descriptive note and a small black and white print for identification, and the critical apparatus is completed by a full bibliography at the end of the book. The result is a volume which will not only act as a catalogue to this outstandingly attractive and unusual exhibition, but should also hold its place as a reference work for scholars and students for many years to come.
Published by Scala Books Ltd, London, 1986
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