BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The Walters Art Museum received a donation of $ 2.5 million from Baltimore art collectors Deborah and Philip English on Wednesday.
“This new English-funded post gives us the opportunity to deepen the study of ceramics like majolica and other examples of material culture, which expands the types of stories we are able to tell and gives back to this art its rightful place in history, “said Julia Marciari-Alexander, director of Andrea B. and John H. Laporte. “We are just delighted to have this opportunity to integrate the visionary collection that the English have created in the Walters, which manages one of the largest collections of ceramics around the world and through time in the United States. “
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The money will be used to endow and hire a new curator specializing in decorative arts, design and material culture. The English also pledged to donate 500 objects from their majolica collection to the museum.
Majolica is a type of molded earthenware. He is known for his brightly colored lead-based glazes which were widely used throughout Victorian society as tableware, decorative items, and garden ornaments. The English Majolica Collection is one of the largest and most important collections of English and Continental European Majolica donated to an American institution.
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“Majolica was one of the most important ceramics introduced to England in the 19th century,” said Deborah English. “He introduced Rococo, Renaissance and Gothic design motifs into middle-class homes. From a material culture perspective, majolica’s great popularity and wide acceptance in society made it reflective of the changes in Victorian society brought about by the Industrial Revolution. The majolica spoke of the politics, the culture and even the satire of the time.
The British made large donations to the museum from their majolica collection and said they would continue to do so.
“We chose the Walters Art Museum to receive this collection because of the institution’s long-standing relationship with the English family, and also because of the museum’s superior approach to scholarship and curation,” Philip English said. “In addition to the collection, we wanted to present to the museum an important academic resource for the study of majolica, and we recognized the importance of underwriting a curatorship to ensure the continued study of this important and captivating pottery.”
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The exhibition will be on view from February 27 to August 7, 2022.