Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries
Hosted by the Southern California Chapter
Join curator Brian Gallagher in this talk in exploring the role of black basalt in sculptural works, particularly those reflecting the neoclassical taste so prevalent in late Georgian England. Among the ceramic bodies produced in great numbers in Staffordshire, England, in the late 18th century was black basalt. Josiah Wedgwood perfected this dark, fine-grained stoneware in 1768, and other Staffordshire potters soon followed.
Wedgwood utilized many antique works of art—portrait busts of Homer, Socrates, and Alexander the Great; statues of Hercules and Mercury; Pompeiian wall paintings of centaurs and maenads, to name a few—as design sources for his basalt wares. He and other potters also found ample inspiration in design antecedents “after the antique” from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries—all to satisfy the ever-growing demand from their fashionable patrons.
Image: Wedgwood. Bust of Junius Brutus, circa 1775–80, stoneware (black basalt). Museum Purchase: Delhom Collection. 1965.48.106. Collection of The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
This event is hosted by an ICAA Chapter. Please check the Chapter website or contact the Chapter directly, for the most up-to-date details including dates, times, and pricing.