American Presidential China

The Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Susan Gray Detweiler; With an introduction by David L. Barquist

View Inside Price: $24.95


March 28, 2008
91 pages, 9 1/2 x 9 1/2
6 b/w + 94 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300135930
Cloth

Published in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The china used by the First Families, both at the White House and in their private homes, reveals a fascinating story of culture and society as it has evolved in the United States since its early days. In this handsome book, which documents over 200 rare items in the remarkably comprehensive Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Collection, a beautiful display of tableware unfolds as readers learn of trends in taste, style, and modes of entertaining, from George Washington to Ronald Reagan.

 

Among the featured objects are Washington’s white-and-gold Sèvres porcelain that he purchased from a French diplomat recalled at the outbreak of the French Revolution; James Monroe’s gilt-edged French porcelain service, the first state service commissioned by the White House in 1817; and John F. Kennedy’s understated Wedgwood creamware used at his Georgetown home. Collectors and historians will value the information on how the pieces were commissioned, designed, manufactured, and imported.

Susan Gray Detweiler has served as Robert L. McNeil, Jr.’s curator of ceramics since 1969. Her books include American Presidential China (1975) and George Washington’s Chinaware (1982). David L. Barquist is the H. Richard Dietrich, Jr., Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Mount Vernon, Alexandria, Virginia (February 16, 2008 – January 21, 2009)

"Reveals a fascinating story of culture and society as it has evolved in the United States since its early days. In this handsome book, which documents over 200 rare items in the remarkably comprehensive Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Collection, a beautiful display of tableware unfolds. . . . Collectors and historians will value the information on how the pieces were commissioned, designed, manufactured, and imported."—Journal of Antiques and Collectibles

"This handsomely illustrated volume includes the tableware used privately by the first families . . . plus interesting documentary photographs of state dinners and an informed text." —Linda Rosenkrantz
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