The Charles Hosmer - Morse Museum of American Art

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Upcoming Exhibitions

  • Earth into Art—The Flowering of American Art Pottery

    Opens October 16, 2018

    The 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, with its displays of fine French and Asian ceramics, helped to ignite a virtual craze among American women for china painting. From this seedbed of passionate hobbyists came the leaders and artists who made American Art Pottery an international success story. It was the first truly American art to receive acclaim both in the United States and abroad. China painting, at this pivotal post-war juncture in American history, was seen as an acceptable vocation for women, and no women were more important to the flowering of the art pottery industry in America than Maria Longworth Nichols Storer (1849–1932), who founded Rookwood Pottery, and Mary Louise McLaughlin (1847–1939), an artist and author who promoted china painting as a profitable pursuit for women. Their talent, business acumen, and innovations established Cincinnati as the center of the nation’s art pottery industry. This exhibition provides a window on key developments in American Art Pottery, including the contributions of Storer, McLaughlin, and others. For the show, the Morse has drawn from its extensive collection of pottery to show the shapes, glazes, themes, techniques, and finishing methods that were second to none in the world.

  • American Arts and Crafts

    Opens October 16, 2018

    Originating in England, where leading proponents included William Morris (1834–96), the Arts and Crafts movement was a response to the Industrial Revolution. Its adherents set out to reform the look of the everyday visual environment that had become, in their view, corrupted by the ugliness of machine production. Not only did factories produce badly designed goods but in reducing human beings to cogs in wheels, they destroyed dignity of labor. Arts and Crafts artists and designers set out to restore beauty and integrity to domestic products like dishes and flatware, vases and pitchers, chairs and tables as well as interior design and architecture itself. Furthermore, through handicraft, they aimed to revive the pride of the artisan. Works in this gallery, all selected from the Morse collection, illustrate the simple beauty of the objects created by American art potteries, furniture makers, metalworkers, and others who took up the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement.

  • Art Nouveau from Europe and America

    Opens October 16, 2018

    Art Nouveau—French for “new art”—arose almost simultaneously in Paris, London, Vienna, Munich, Milan, and Barcelona. Horrified by the cheap mass-produced goods typical of industrial production in the nineteenth century, artists set out not only to improve design but to make it modern. Stylistically Art Nouveau varied by region. Though the objects could include strong straight-line geometry, Art Nouveau was dominated by elegant curves and counter-curves, asymmetrical composition, and sinuous, sensuous line. Its focus was on nature generally and the female face and form particularly. This exhibition, assembled entirely from the Museum’s collection, includes fine examples of Art Nouveau from the hands and hearts of artists, designers, and artisans from Europe and America.

  • Iridescence in Glass and Pottery: A Celebration

    Opens February 12, 2019

    During the second half of the nineteenth century, iridescence—the optical light phenomenon natural to seashells, butterfly wings, and peacock feathers—captured the interest of glassmakers and potters in both Europe and America. The enthusiasm for mimicking these color-changing effects followed exciting discoveries of antique glass that had become iridescent after centuries of burial within mineral-rich soils. The premier decorative art studios of the West, notably Louis Comfort Tiffany’s firm in the United States and Glasfabrik Johann Loetz Witwe in Europe, developed chemical techniques to reproduce iridescent rainbow colors on par with nature. In this exhibition, the Museum celebrates iridescence through diverse examples from these and other companies of the era represented in its collection.

  • Charles Hosmer Morse’s Arts and Crafts Study at Osceola Lodge

    Opens February 12, 2019

    Charles Hosmer Morse (1833–1921), the industrialist and philanthropist for whom the Museum is named, began wintering in Winter Park in the mid-1880s. He purchased Osceola Lodge, built in 1886, in 1904 and transformed the house into a modern residence fitted with the latest and best furnishings in the Arts and Crafts style. This vignette includes some of the objects from the house.