British Ceramic Treasures at The Mint Museum

Brian Gallagher, Curator of Decorative Arts, The Mint Museum
Tea Canister, Soup Plate, Teapot
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Panelists/Speaker: Brian Gallagher

“British Ceramic Treasures at The Mint Museum” Brian Gallagher Curator of Decorative Arts, The Mint Museum. Brian Gallagher, curator of Decorative Arts at the Mint, will present highlights of this collection, focusing especially on works that are exceptional because of their rarity, craftsmanship, provenance, or as representative examples of particular types or methods of production or decoration.

Much of the research and observations he will share derives from his work on two recent projects: in Fall 2015, the Mint, together with D. Giles Limited of London, published over 225 highlights of the collection in British Ceramics 1675–1825: The Mint Museum, and in early 2016, the museum opened a new installation of the collection titled Portals to the Past: British Ceramics 1675–1825.

Brian will briefly discuss this installation and some of the themes he developed to help visitors more fully engage with the objects. The Mint Museum’s collection of eighteenth-century British pottery and porcelain is widely respected for its scope and quality. The collection numbers over 2,000 objects and includes important examples of both salt-glazed and dry-bodied stoneware from Staffordshire; tin-glazed earthenware from Bristol, Liverpool, and London; and cream-colored earthenware from Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and Yorkshire. Notable eighteenth-century porcelain factories represented include Chelsea, Bow, and Vauxhall in London, Longton Hall in Staffordshire, Worcester, Bristol, and others. Brian Gallagher joined The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, as Curator of Decorative Arts in July 2007. Since then, he has organized numerous exhibitions, including The Brilliant Period of American Cut Glass, North Carolina Pottery: Diversity and Traditions, and Celebrating Queen Charlotte’s Coronation.

Brian was the project manager for several traveling exhibitions, including Made in China: Export Porcelain from the Leo and Doris Hodroff Collection at Winterthur, and the large international loan exhibition, Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851–1939.

In November 2015, he published British Ceramics 1675–1825: The Mint Museum, which highlights over 225 examples of the Mint’s nationally recognized British ceramics collection, and in early 2016 organized a new display of that collection in an installation titled Portals to the Past: British Ceramics 1675–1825.

Before joining the Mint staff, Brian was an assistant curator in the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He has an M.A. and a M.Phil. from the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, New York. Prior to his museum career, Brian was a research librarian for fourteen years, working in turn for IBM, Salomon Brothers, and J.P. Morgan and Company.