Majolica Mania

Transatlantic Pottery in England and the United States, 1850–1915

Edited by Susan Weber, with Catherine Arbuthnott, Jo Briggs, Eleanor Hughes, Earl Martin, and Laura Microulis

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The first comprehensive study of the most important ceramic innovation of the 19th century

Colorful, wildly imaginative, and technically innovative, majolica was functional and aesthetic ceramic ware. Its subject matter reflects a range of 19th-century preoccupations, from botany and zoology to popular humor and the macabre. Majolica Mania examines the medium’s considerable impact, from wares used in domestic settings to monumental pieces at the World’s Fairs. Essays by international  experts address the extensive output of the originators and manufacturers in England—including Minton, Wedgwood, and George Jones—and the migration of English craftsmen to the U.S. New research including information on important American makers in New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia is also featured. Fully illustrated, the book is enlivened by new photography of pieces from major museums and private collections in the U.S. and Great Britain.

Susan Weber is director and founder of the Bard Graduate Center.


Bard Graduate Center Gallery, New York
(September 24, 2021–January 2, 2022)

Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
(February 26–July 31, 2022)

Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent
(October 15, 2022–February 26, 2023)

“The two-part tome, which shows often botanically themed majolica ceramics, is sure to serve as an excellent guide for anyone looking to learn more about the medium.”—Madeleine Luckel, Architectural Digest

“More than 1,000 lustrous Victorian vessels appear in Majolica Mania: Transatlantic Pottery in England and the United States, 1850-1915 . . . Dozens of scholars contributed essays about ceramics makers, from central England’s venerable Wedgwood to Manhattan’s forgotten James Carr. The [majolica] designs were as majestic as fountains and fireplaces covered in dragons, and as endearingly frivolous as boots for holding toothpicks and jugs portraying baseball players.”—Eve Kahn, New York Times
ISBN: 9780300251043
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Publishing Partner: Distributed for Bard Graduate Center
1008 pages, 9 1/2 x 12
1,200 color + b/w illus.
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