Lecture | From Thomas Cole to Paul Scott: Reanimating the Legacy of Staffordshire Transferware

Join Nancy Siegel, Professor of art history and culinary history from Towson University, for a lecture and the opportunity to handle 19th-century prints, books, and Staffordshire ceramics from a private collection.

Consider the delight of a mid-nineteenth-century dinner guest finding the imagery of Thomas Cole at the bottom of their soup plate.  After the last spoonful of potage had been consumed, visions of the American landscape were revealed, reminding the diner of America’s bounty, scenic wonders, and the success of Democracy in the New World.  But how could such overarching sentiments be gleaned from staring at the bottom of dinner ware? Further, how did a painted image by Cole come to appear on earthenware pottery, and why were American landscapes gracing the bottom of soup plates that were produced in England? Lastly, does such messaging resonate today? This lecture explores the historical and continued popularity of Staffordshire ceramics from Thomas Cole to the contemporary moment with the artistry of Paul Scott as the decorative imagery on Staffordshire ware is reconsidered and reanimated to reflect our evolving relationship with both the rural and urban landscape.

This event is included with museum admission.

About Nancy Siegel:

Nancy Siegel is Professor of Art History and Culinary History at Towson University and specializes in American landscape studies, print culture, and culinary history of the 18th and 19th centuries. Her current projects include the forthcoming book Susie M. Barstow: Redefining the Hudson River School which will complement the 2023 touring exhibition she is co-curating for the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Reframing the American Landscape: Women, Land, + Art. This exhibit builds upon her very successful 2010 exhibition, Remember the Ladies: Women of the Hudson River School. She is also co-curating a 2024 exhibition, Curious Taste: The Appeal of British Satire and writing the manuscript, Political Appetites: Revolution, Taste, and Culinary Activism in the Early Republic. She provides historical cooking demonstrations and lectures widely on landscape and culinary histories in addition to serving as a culinary consultant for museums and non-profit institutions. Nancy has authored/edited publications such as The Cultured Canvas: New Perspectives on American Landscape Painting; River Views of the Hudson River School; Within the Landscape: Essays on Nineteenth-Century American Art and Culture; Along the Juniata: Thomas Cole and the Dissemination of American Landscape Imagery; and The Morans: The Artistry of a Nineteenth-Century Family of Painter-Etchers. Her work has also appeared in Gastronomica, The Burlington Magazine, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide.

She has been the recipient of numerous research grants and fellowships including: the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library; the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany; Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture- Georgian Papers Programme Fellowship, Windsor Castle, Windsor, UK; Terra Foundation for American Art; New England Regional Fellowship Consortium: Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Massachusetts Historical Society, Connecticut Historical Society, Historic Deerfield; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the American Antiquarian Society; Yale University; Winterthur Museum & Country Estate; the Massachusetts Historical Society; the Culinary Historians of Chicago; the New York Public Library; the Tavolozza Foundation, and the Furthermore Foundation.

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