The Minton factories had the artistically widest-ranging output of any ceramics makers in the Victorian era. As with most visual arts at the time, Rococo Revival was the basis of Minton’s popular and commercial success. Mintons, however, were committed to innovative design both as a moral imperative and for corporate prestige in a highly competitive environment. From the late 1860s to the late 1880s, Japanese forms and motifs were key factors in fashionable Western design. This lecture will explore how the Minton factories used this source material, and what role it may have played in their overall marketing strategies.
Jeffrey Ruda (Ph.D., Harvard) is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of California Davis, where he was chair of Art History for twelve years, on and off. He is still an active member of the graduate faculty at UC Davis and has taught two seminars there since his retirement at the end of 2013. He specialized in Italian late medieval and early Renaissance art and published a monograph and catalog on the Florentine artist Fra Filippo Lippi (Phaidon Press, 1993). He has also worked with old-master drawings, writing an exhibition catalog of drawings from the founding bequest at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento.
He became addicted to ceramics because his grad school roommate was stationed in Korea by the US Army and brought home a collection of medieval Korean stoneware. Recently, he has focused on ceramics from the founding period of the Crocker Museum, a Registered US National Historic Place dating from 1872.