Potteries of Trenton Society to Host Panel of Art Museum Curators on April 9

Have you ever wondered what museum curators think about Trenton ceramics? What are they acquiring these days? And why? 

The Potteries of Trenton Society (POTS) in collaboration with the Trenton Historical Society will bring together a panel of three art museum curators for the POTS 2022 annual meeting on Saturday afternoon, April 9.  David Barquist, Ulysses Dietz and Ron Fuchs will talk about their collections and why they are adding Trenton ceramics to the holdings of their museums. Ellen Denker, POTS program chair, will moderate the panel. The free event will be virtual. 

David Barquist is The H. Richard Dietrich, Jr., Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He holds degrees from Harvard College, the University of Delaware where he was a Fellow in the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, and Yale University.  From 1981 to 2004 he served as Assistant, Associate, and Acting Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Yale University Art Gallery. For POTS, Barquist will focus on collecting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Founded in 1876 on the model of London’s South Kensington Museum, the museum has collected American ceramics from its inception, including numerous Trenton-made ceramics dating from the 1860s to the 1980s and ranging from flint enamel earthenware to porcelain services made for the White House. 

Ulysses Dietz is currently Chief Curator Emeritus, Newark Museum of Art. He was Curator of Decorative Arts at the museum from 1980 until 2017, and Chief Curator as well for the last five of those years. A graduate of Yale and Winterthur, Ulysses was indoctrinated into Trenton ceramics from the day he arrived at the Newark Museum. Dietz’s discussion will begin with the museum’s first showing of Trenton ceramics in 1910, a year after it was founded, with the exhibition “Modern American Pottery,” a huge display that included Lenox China. The museum’s collecting expanded greatly in 1915 with the exhibition “The Clay Products of New Jersey,” and carried on from there until Dietz’s retirement. “From utilitarian goods to the finest porcelain,” says Dietz, “Newark’s collection covers all the bases in terms of Trenton’s celebrated output.” 

Ron Fuchs II is Senior Curator, Reeves Museum of Ceramics, Washington and Lee University. He holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and the Winterthur Program. Before moving to the Reeves, he was the Assistant and then Associate Curator of Ceramics for the Hodroff Collection at Winterthur Museum. The Reeves Museum is best known for its holdings of Chinese and Japanese export porcelain, but the collection also includes European and American ceramics. According to Fuchs, “Several 19th century pots made in Trenton have been acquired by the Reeves Museum in recent years, allowing us to tell for the first time a bit of the story of Trenton’s role in the growth of the American ceramic industry.” 

This virtual event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Make your reservation on Eventbrite at the following address Potteries of Trenton Society 2022 Annual Meeting Registration, Sat, Apr 9, 2022 at 2:00 PM | Eventbrite. Follow instructions on the reservation page to get your Zoom link. For more information about the Trenton Historical Society see https://trentonhistory.org/