Bing & Grøndahl, Danish, founded 1853. Vase, 1899-1900. Porcelain, 14 15/16 × 7 1/16 in. (38 × 18 cm)

Art Nouveau Innovation: Danish Porcelain from an American Collector

June 12, 2021 - November 28, 2021

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

This exhibition features 75 ceramics from Danish porcelain companies Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl. Each object represents the art nouveau style that flourished in Denmark from the late 1880s until the First World War. At this time, artists were heavily inspired by the natural world as well as Japanese culture. This period was also a renaissance for Danish porcelain, marked by technical and artistic innovations. One of the most important technical shifts of the period was the focus on underglaze painting, where paint is applied to fired, unglazed porcelain surface using either a brush, sponge, or airbrush. The object is then glazed and re-fired. Royal Copenhagen’s director, Arnold Krog felt this method highlighted the intrinsic beauty of the porcelain so their chemists developed new underglaze colors that could withstand the high firing temperature. The company’s biggest domestic rival, Bing & Grøndahl, adopted the process of underglaze painting after they hired Frans Hallin, a former Royal Copenhagen signature artist.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Danish America, Elk Horn, Iowa. 

From the Exhibition

  • Royal Copenhagen, Danish, founded 1775. Vase, 1886. Porcelain, 8 1/4 × 5 1/2 in. (21 × 14 cm)

  • Royal Copenhagen, Danish, founded 1775. Bottle, 1899. Porcelain and silver, 4 15/16 × 5 7/8 in. (12.5 × 15
    cm)

  • Royal Copenhagen, Danish, founded 1775. Vase, 1900. Porcelain, 5 1/8 × 5 1/8 in. (13 × 13 cm)

  • Royal Copenhagen, Danish, founded 1775. Vase, 1886-1888. Porcelain, 7 1/16 × 6 5/16 in. (18 × 16 cm)

  • Royal Copenhagen, Danish, founded 1775. Figurine, designed 1890; made 1894. Porcelain, 3 9/16 × 11 7/16 in. (9 × 29 cm)

  • Bing & Grøndahl, Danish, founded 1853. Sauceboat, 1888-1890. Porcelain, 5 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. (15 x 20 cm)