Looking at the Collection: The Elegant Vessel
January 31 – March 28, 2021
Assuming the form of a cup, bowl, pitcher, or vase used for holding liquids or other contents, the vessel as a utilitarian object dates back millennia. The Elegant Vessel explores this essential form in various guises, highlighting its inherent beauty as well as its capability to serve as a metaphor for extended meaning. The exhibition includes historical and contemporary works from the Museum’s permanent collection in glass, ceramic, metal and wood — all traditional materials used to create functional vessels, but transformed into fine art in the hands of their skilled makers. Featured artists include Shane Fero, Benjamin Moore, Robin Rodgers, Rosanne Somerson, and many more.
The voluptuous forms of classic vessels provide the inspiration for many artists working today. Dante Marioni reveals a confident mastery of glass in his attenuated blown glass Leaf Vase Pair, inspired by ancient Mediterranean prototypes. Striking a balance between form, color, proportion, and process are Shane Fero’s engaging flameworked glass Jade Moon Bottle, Rude Osolnik’s deceptively minimal turned wood Bowl, and Benjamin Moore’s technically accomplished blown glass Selenium Red Interior Fold Platter.
With this exhibition we salute the enduring vessel in its many refined possibilities, and thank those artists whose creative talents have expanded our appreciation and view of this familiar yet iconic form. Organized by HMA.