The Mint Museum of Art will present Faces & Flowers: Painting on Lenox China through January 30, 2010. Lenox china is often referred to as America’s greatest porcelain. The exhibition will feature more than 70 objects, including plates, vases and decorative wares with exquisite paintings of orchids, figures, idealized women and landscapes.Faces & Flowers highlights the remarkable talents of Lenox’s china painters, with works made by the firm’s leading artists for some of America’s foremost citizens, including orchid fancier Charles G. Roebling and Newark industrialist Franklin Murphy, who was governor of New Jersey from 1902 to 1905.
Walter Scott Lenox started the Ceramic Art Company in 1889 in Trenton, New Jersey (becoming Lenox China in 1906), with the ambition to achieve “the perfection of American porcelain.” To achieve his goal, Lenox hired the premier European and American porcelain painters of his time, including Bruno Geyer (Austrian, active late 19th – early 20th century), William Morley (British, circa 1869-1934), and Sturgis Laurence (American, 1870-1961). The quality and creativity shown in the wares from Ceramic Art Company/Lenox China surpassed the best porcelain produced in Europe at the time and enabled Lenox China to make its mark internationally. The company developed such a loyal following that it became the first American china to be used in the White House (during Woodrow Wilson’s administration).
The exhibition is organized and distributed by the University of Richmond Museums, Virginia. It appears at The Mint Museum thanks to the generous support of the Delhom Service League. An illustrated catalogue with an essay by the exhibition’s curator Ellen Denker, an independent scholar, is available for purchase in The Mint Museum Shops.
The Mint Museum is one institution with two dynamic locations. Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, the Mint Museum of Art houses collections of Art of the Ancient Americas, American art, Contemporary art, Historic Costume & Fashionable Dress, and Ceramics. Opened in 1999, the Mint Museum of Craft + Design displays national and international Contemporary Crafts made of ceramics, metal, wood, glass and fiber.
The Mint Museum is involved in a major expansion project: the construction of a new 145,000-square-foot facility in uptown Charlotte and the reinstallation of the historic Mint Museum of Art. Scheduled for completion in 2010, the new facility will house collections of American art, Contemporary art and Craft + Design. Following the opening of the new location, collections at the Mint Museum of Art will be reinstalled and feature collections in Ceramics, Art of the Ancient Americas, and Historic Costumes & Fashionable Dress.
The Mint Museum is funded, in part, with operating support by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc.; the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts; the City of Charlotte; and its members.