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Gallery Talk: A Tale of Two Vessels

Two side-by-side images show a brown vessel with two handles near the rim and a heavily decorated, colorful vase with carved figures.
David Drake, American, Storage Jar, 1840. Stoneware. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Anonymous Fund in memory of Henry Berg; Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, by exchange; Gift of C. R. Simpkins, “A Tribute to the Class of 1892,” by exchange; Gift of Mrs. Henry James, by exchange; and Gift of Mrs. George R. Agassiz, by exchange, 2016.194; (Right) Designed by Karl L. H. Müller, American; Manufactured by Union Porcelain Works, American, Century Vase, c. 1876–77. Porcelain, partially painted and gilded. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Augustus S. Cobb, by exchange, 2015.2.

Gallery Talk

Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

This event requires registration; see further details below.

Join curatorial assistant Casey Monahan to explore how two 19th-century ceramic vessels tell different stories of the United States. One vessel is made by enslaved potter David Drake and shows us both the artist’s agency and the lack of it. The other vessel is a presentation vase created for the U.S. centennial; it includes narrative imagery intended to evoke a shared American identity after the Civil War.

Led by:
Casey Monahan, Cunningham Senior Curatorial Assistant for the Collection, Division of European and American Art

Gallery talks are limited to 18 people and registration is required. You can register by clicking on the event on this form, beginning at 10am the day of the talk.

Please meet in the Calderwood Courtyard, in front of the digital screens between the shop and the admissions desk.

The Harvard Art Museums are now offering free admission every day, Tuesday through Sunday. Please see the museum visit page to learn about our general policies for visiting the museums.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48 hours in advance.