About This Artwork

John Bennett
American, 1840–1907

Plaque, 1879

46.7 cm (18 3/8 in.)
Marked: "J. Bennett/412 East 24 / N.Y./1879"

Through prior acquisitions of the George F. Harding Collection, an anonymous donor, Bessie Bennett, Mrs. William Blood, Emily Crane Chadbourne, Milton Straus, Elizabeth R. Vaughan, Behrend/Sanford Auction and Thorne Rooms Exhibition funds, 1998.317

Working at the London firm Doulton and Company, English ceramist John Bennett evolved a new method in which he painted his designs in slip, or liquid clay, and covered them with clear glaze. In 1876 “Bennett ware” was exhibited to great acclaim at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, prompting Bennett to relocate to New York. Although his early pottery demonstrates Islamic influences, this plaque is more indebted to contemporary British Aesthetic movement design. Flowers in muted colors extend into the composition from beyond the pictorial space, yielding a design that resembles the intricate textiles of English artist William Morris.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Publication History

"Objects of Desire: Victorian Art at the Art Institute of Chicago," Museum Studies 31, 1 (Art Institute of Chicago 2005) no. 14 (ill.).

Ownership History

Anthony Stuempfig, Philadelphia, by 1998; The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998.

View mobile website