Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hooray! The Mad Men Are Back!

Italian designer Joe Colombo (1930—1971) must have had Don Draper in mind when he designed these Footed Glasses (Modern design, 1964, Arnolfo di Cambio). The clever offset base means he'll never have to choose between smoking and drinking. Find them in the Lower Level Corridor.

Roger Sterling needs our Dorothy Thorpe Silver Band Serving Bowl Nest (c.1960), also known as a Chip 'n Dip, to go with the Dorothy Thorpe cocktail set he keeps in his office. A few crackers might have helped the gin and oysters go down and stay down.

Peggy Olson dreamed that Peter would call her. Our flaming orange Trim Line Telephone (1965), designed by Henry Dreyfuss (Am, 1904—1972), would make that call sizzle.

Peter Campbell's in-laws would never approve of our Antenna Chair (early 1960s, from the Sculptured House, Genesee, CO), designed by Charles Deaton (Am. 1921—1996). We don't care and neither should he.

What more can we say? Salvatore Romano swooned when he saw our EPIC Lipped Bonbon Dish (c.1962, Viking Glass Co). First, the candy is in and then it comes out . . . over that graceful spout. Come see for yourself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exploring the Auk Drinking Set

Kayserzinn Drinking Set
Designed by Hugo Leven (1874-1956), German
1900 - 1905
Collection Kirkland Museum
Decanter/jug is 8 inches tall.
Tray is 14 3/8 in x 4 5/8 in.

The decanter or jug in this pewter drinking set is the form of an auk, a bird similar to a penguin which lives on islands in the north seas and eats fish. The largest variety of auk, the giant auk, was last seen in 1844 and is now extinct. Small auks are sometimes known to fly, but the giant auk was a flightless bird whose wings had adapted to swimming.

Hugo Leven was a German designer and part of the Jugendstil (German for "Youth Style") movement, which is considered part of Art Nouveau. Leven became art director of the enormously successful German metal ware company J.P. Kayser & Sons. It was for the Kayser & Sons company that he designed the famous Kayserzinn pewter, of which this auk set is an example. Many of the pieces Leven designed are still in production today. Though Leven made his career designing mass produced products for industry, he was a proponent of the Art & Crafts ideal of creating unique handcrafted objects.

The Kayserzinn Drinking Set is currently on view in the watercolor room, which is the front room of the old studio building where Kirkland's watercolors are on display.