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Faces and Flowers:  Painting on Lenox China

Page history last edited by Joyce Weaver 9 years, 12 months ago

Faces and Flowers: Painting on Lenox China

August 22, 2009, to January 30, 2010

Mint Museum of Art 


Bruno Geyer (Austrian, active late 19th - early 20th centuries)

Ceramic Art Company, for Tiffany and Company, New York

After "Self Portrait" by Angelica Kauffmann, circa 1904

bone china with enamel decoration and gold pastework


Faces and Flowers:  Painting on Lenox China displays more than 70 objects from the late 19th to early 20th century. These works were created while the company was known as Ceramic Art Company, owned and operated by Walter Scott Lenox himself.  Lenox allowed his artists, some of the best in both America and Europe, to focus on quality rather than quantity.  This superb quality was recognized by the White House, as Lenox China became the first American china to be used by the Presidents.


Interview from The Magazine Antiques

      Read the interview with Brian Gallagher, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Mint, and Ellen Decker, curator of the exhibition, conducted by Caroline Hannah of Antiques magazine and available from their web site.


History and Exhibition Information

  • Ellen Denker, scholar and curator of the exhibition, talks about china painting and Faces and Flowers in this YouTube video.

  • Check out the University of Richmond Museum's page on the exhibition, and see what the Mint web page has to say.

  • Read the history of the Lenox China company here, as well as a history of the pieces made for the White House.

  • Click here to read about the 'History of Trenton Pottery Making' from the Trenton City Museum. Trenton, NJ was one of the major pottery centers in the US for over 100 years.

  • The Pottery and Porcelain of the United States is a book, partially available from Google Books, about the Willets Manufacturing Co. where Walter Scott Lenox was head of the Belleek division prior to his founding of Ceramic Art Company with Jonathan Coxon. This title is available in its entirety in The Mint Museum Library.

  • Many pieces in the exhibition were made for Charles Roebling  whose father designed the Brooklyn Bridge, and Franklin Murphy, Governor of NJ from 1902 to 1905.


More about Lenox 

  • This online article reprint from a 1947 issue of Antique Collector provides a good brief overview of American porcelain, including Lenox.


Featured Artists 

  • Lucien Boullemier - (British, 1876-1949)

  • William Clayton – (American, active early 20th century)

  • Eugene De Lan – (Spanish, worked in Trenton, NJ, 1896-circa 1915)
  • Bruno Geyer  - (Austrian, active late 19th - early 20th century in the United States)
  • Antonie Heidrich – (German, worked in Trenton, NJ, circa 1890-10900)
  • Sturgis Laurence  - (American, 1870-1961)
  • Simon Lissim – (Russian, 1900-1981)
  • George Morley – (British, worked at Ceramic Art Company, circa 1885-1900)
  • Walter Marsh – (American, active early 20th c.)
  • William H. Morley (British, circa 1869-1934)
  • Hans Nosek  - (Bohemian, active intermittently, 1903-1954, in Trenton, NJ)
  • Sigmund Wirkner – (German, worked Trenton, circa 1900-1910) 


Selected Resources from The Mint Museum Library 

  • Denker, Ellen Paul. Faces & Flowers: Painting on Lenox China. Richmond, VA: University of Richmond Museums, 2009. This is the catalog that accompanies the exhibition and provides images and information on all the exhibited pieces.

  • Evans, Paul. Art Pottery of the United States: An Encyclopedia of Producers and Their Marks. New York: Scribner, [1974]. 

  • Garth, Clark. A Century of Ceramics in the United States, 1878-1978: A Study of its Development.  New York: E.P. Dutton, 1979. 

  • Homes, George Stanford. Lenox China: The Story of Walter Scott Lenox. [Philadelphia]: Printed for private circulation, [1924].


Special Feature: From the Stacks

     The artist Simon Lissim worked in stage and costume design, painted, illustrated children's books, and taught art as well as being a porcelain designer. In The Mint Museum Library, one of the books we have on Lissim is the limited edition Simon Lissim published in 1933 in Paris by Editions du Cygne. Below are some of the wonderful illustrations of Lissim's work from the book.



     Clockwise from top left:  Assiette (1927); Le Bonheur d'etre riche (1925); Projet de tissu (1926; Les trois      Boyards (1927)



Created by Maisie McParland, intern at The Mint Museum Library


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