Past Exhibitions


A Taste of Power: 18th-Century German Porcelain for the Table

Fri, 03/28/2008 - 20:00 -- wds
A Taste of Power: 18th-Century German Porcelain for the Table
March 29, 2008—June 30, 2008 Busch-Reisinger Museum

Isabella and Octavio, c. 1760. Modeled by Franz Anton Bustelli; Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory, Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum.

In the 18th century, porcelain was not just an art to amuse and delight the eye: it was also a potent source of prestige and a demonstration of power. The Meissen factory, under the protection of Saxony's Augustus the Strong, in 1710 became the first European producer of porcelain, and soon every minor duchy throughout Europe angled to repeat Meissen's triumph. This installation of five works drawn from the Busch-Reisinger Museum's permanent collection examines the use of porcelain figurines as intriguing table decorations at elaborate baroque court festivals and banquets. It features objects from Meissen, Nymphenburg, and Höchst manufactories and encourages a fresh experience of the works by suggesting their original context and function. Organized by Heather Hess, 2006–08 Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow, Busch-Reisinger Museum. A brochure accompanies this exhibition.