February 06, 2019 3 min read

We are proud supporters of the upcoming traveling exhibition and landmark publication: Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850-1970.  The show will open May 3rd at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence with a free day-long symposium, Critical Encounters: Designing Innovation, and late afternoon opening.  Mark your calendars and register for the symposium now!

Gorham Silver
Designing Brilliance 1850–1970

Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850-1970
Gorham Manufacturing Company, Epergne and Plateau, 1872 and 1876. The Gorham Collection. Gift of Textron Inc.

Rhode Island School of Design Museum
May 3 - December 1, 2019

Cincinnati Art Museum
March 3 - June 7, 2020

The Mint Museum
July 25 - November 1, 2020

Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850-1970 casts new light on the legacy of this distinctive company, established in 1831 in Providence, Rhode Island. Home to the largest collection of Gorham, the RISD Museum presents exceptional silver and mixed-metal wares, reflecting the industry, artistry, innovation, and technology of the manufactory for 120 years. Adeptly coupling art and industry, Gorham boldly rose from a small firm to become the largest silver company in the world, putting uniquely American design on the international stage. Creating everything from commissioned presentation pieces to show-stoppers for the dining room, Gorham responded to the era’s desire to celebrate, feast, socialize, honor and simply enjoy the everyday in style. Accompanied by a major publication (Rizzoli) with stunning new imagery and recent research, the exhibition will travel to the Cincinnati Art Museum and The Mint Museum.

Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850–1970 is made possible by a sponsoring grant from the Henry Luce Foundation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the RISD Museum Associates, Textron Inc., the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Joseph A. Chazan, MD, and a generous in-kind gift from Spencer Marks, Ltd. Educational programming associated with the exhibition is made possible by a lead sponsorship from the Zennovation Fund and additional support from Victoria Veh.

The symposium is free, but registration required. Details:

Critical Encounters: Designing Innovation

Friday, May 3 / 10 am-5:30 pm

Gorham Silver and American Industrialism
Gerald M. Carbone, independent writer and journalist; and Holly Snyder, Ph.D., Curator of American Historical Collections and North American History Librarian, John Hay Library at Brown University

Gorham Silver and Social Aspirations
Jeannine Falino, independent curator, critic at Parsons School of Design, RISD; guest curator at Museum of Art and Design, The Museum of the City of New York, The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Designing Gorham Silver
David L. Barquist, Ph.D., H. Richard Dietrick, Jr., Curator of American Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Creating Gorham Silver
Elizabeth A. Williams, Ph.D., David and Peggy Rockefeller Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, RISD Museum

Marketing Gorham Silver
Amy M. Dehan, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, The Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio

There will also be optional visits to RISD’s Jewelry + Metalsmithing studios. The symposium will be followed by the Exhibition Opening from 5:30-7:30 pm, with wine from Bottles Fine Wine, and light snacks (free and open to the public).

The RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and the RISD Museum Board of Governors.


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