The Art of Refreshment
February 25, 2023 - August 27, 2023Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery
From an afternoon tea to a cocktail party, events that center around eating and drinking have been a fundamental part of life across the world and throughout history. The objects used to present and serve food and liquids can be as important as what is being consumed.
Styles range from simple and utilitarian to ornate and elaborate and objects are made of a variety of materials. A driving factor in the design and decoration of things like teapots, pitchers, and serving platters is the social and economic status of the original owner. A cup owned by royalty may be made of a finer material and include more intricate details than one that belonged to someone of a lower status. Artists also consider cultural customs when creating objects related to eating and drinking. For example, the Japanese tea ceremony, a deeply symbolic cultural activity, requires teaware that differs in design from similar objects in other cultures. The artwork in this exhibition, drawn from the FIA’s permanent collection, illustrates the wide variety of materials, styles, and uses of drink and dinnerware from ancient times to current day.