Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

"La passeggiata archaeologica (An Archeological Stroll)" Covered Urn

Designer:
Gio Ponti (Italian, Milan 1891–1979 Milan)
Manufacturer:
Manuffatura Richard-Ginori
Date:
1925
Culture:
Italian
Medium:
Porcelain
Dimensions:
19 3/4 x 6 3/4 in. Diam. (50.2 x 17.1 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Porcelain
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1931
Accession Number:
31.83ab
Not on view
Although Ponti was a committed modernist, his work always maintained a respect for tradition and history. Among his earliest projects was a series of porcelain vases designed for Richard-Ginori, for whom he worked as artistic director from 1923 to 1930. These pieces, intended to be mass-produced, were all designed on the theme of classicism-the national patrimony of Italy. This model, entitled "An Archaeological Stroll," presents classical imagery from the great moments in Italian cultural history: Roman antiquity, the Renaissance, and the Neoclassical period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Columns, urns, candelabra, and sundials alternate with animated human figures in period-appropriate costumes, set against a patterned ground suggesting marble masonry. Such imagery not only appealed to Ponti's nationalistic impulses-celebrating Italy's continuing contributions to art, architecture, and science-but, in its chic stylization, was also fashionably up-to-date.
Venini, Milan (until 1931; sold to MMA)

Baltimore. Walters Art Gallery. "Art Nouveau to Art Moderne: Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 2–April 28, 1985, no catalogue.

Raleigh. North Carolina Museum of Art. "Art Nouveau to Art Moderne: Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 22–August 11, 1985, not in brochure.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part I: 1900–1925," December 14, 1999–March 26, 2000, no catalogue.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Il Modo Italiano: Italian Design and Avant-garde in the 20th Century," May 4–August 27, 2006, no. 261.

Toronto. Royal Ontario Museum. "Il Modo Italiano: Italian Design and Avant-garde in the 20th Century," October 21, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 261.

Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto. "Il Modo Italiano: Italian Design and Avant-garde in the 20th Century," March 3–June 3, 2007, no. 261.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classic/Fantastic: Selections from the Modern Design Collection," December 21, 2007–April 5, 2009, no catalogue.

New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936," October 1, 2010–January 9, 2011, unnumbered cat. (pl. 25; as "An Archaeological Stroll [La passeggiata archaeologica]").

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. "Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936," February 21–May 15, 2011, unnumbered cat.

Kansas City, Mo. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. "Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851–1939," April 14–August 19, 2012, no. 159 (as "The Archaeological Stroll [La passeggiato archaeologica] urn with cover").

Pittsburgh. Carnegie Museum of Art. "Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851–1939," October 13, 2012–February 24, 2013, no. 159.

New Orleans Museum of Art. "Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851–1939," April 12–August 4, 2013, no. 159.

Charlotte, N. C. Mint Museum Uptown. "Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851–1939," September 9, 2013–January 19, 2014, no. 159.

"Die Keramische Manufaktur Richard-Ginori auf der Pariser Kunstgewerbe-Ausstellung 1925." Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration 57 (January 1926), ill. p. 283.

Kenneth E. Silver. Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, 2010, p. 34.

Helen Hsu in Kenneth E. Silver. Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, 2010, pp. 82, 178, colorpl. 25.

Stephen Harrison in Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851–1939. Exh. cat., Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. Pittsburgh, 2012, pp. 217, 269, no. 159, fig. 43 (color).



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