Museums & Other Transferware Displays United States A-N
Museums and Places of Interest With Displays and Collections of Transfer Printed Pottery
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham
http://www.artsbma.org/ (205) 254-2566
The Birmingham Museum of Art features the Dwight and Lucile Beeson Wedgwood Collection, reportedly the finest and most important collection of eighteenth-century Wedgwood outside of England. The museum is also strong in eighteenth and early nineteenth-century British ceramics, including porcelain from factories at Derby, Chelsea, Worcester and Bow, as well as fine examples of ceramics from Staffordshire.
Castle Hill, Sitka Alaska
The TCC Spring 2000 Bulletin includes an article on transferware excavated at this site, also known as Baranof Castle Hill State Historic Site. Over 50,000 ceramic sherds which include over 300 partial or complete manufactures marks are included (also includes Russian and other origins in addition to transferware). Although it is open to the public, the transferware is not currently exhibited.
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach
http://www.lbma.org/ (562) 439-2119
The Long Beach Museum of Art houses many hundreds of ceramic pieces, including approximately 100 18th and 19th Century Staffordshire figures as well as Derby examples. The Staffordshire is available for view online.
Spanish/Mexican Period Missions (various locations)
http://missionsofcalifornia.org/missions (no “official” web site; this is one helpful site) (951) 369-0440
Several of the 22 historic (founded during the 18th century) missions established by the Catholic Church exhibit transferware used by the occupants and nearby residents. Most of what we have seen is “Romantic”, 1840s to 1860s. Most of the missions have museums or visitor centers with collections and exhibits of varying extent. Transferware is “hit and miss”. Please let us know when you have made a sighting. Note: the photos below are representative of the missions, and do not reflect the presence or absence of transferware.
San Luis Rey de Francea, Oceanside
Santa Clara de Asis, Santa Clara
San Antonio de Padua, Jolon
Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel/Monterey Vicinity
(831) 624-4909 Point Lobos State Reserve and Point Lobos Association
This lovely park/reserve on the California coast has perhaps the smallest transferware display in the World. The Whaling Station Museum at Whalers Cove, a preserved two-room historical cabin originally occupied by 19th century Chinese abalone fishermen (constructed in the 1850s), includes one fragment of pink romantic transferware, which in conjunction with other artifacts can be viewed through a “window” in the floorboards. Evidence of the widespread use of transferware.
Cabin (right) and view from near cabin of Whaler’s Cove.
We understand that many California state park museums and visitor displays include transferware, particularly from the 1850s through the 1880s (from the Gold Rush onward).
Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center
Mattatuck Historical Society, Waterbury http://www.mattatuckmuseum.org/ (202) 753-0381
The Mattatuck Museum houses numerous examples of blue and white American Historical and black-printed “Liverpool” wares. The collection has been in storage, but is intended for permanent display. The TCC Winter 2008 Bulletin includes additional information and photographs, taken when we visited the museum as part of our 2007 annual meeting.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford
http://www.wadsworthatheneum.org/ (860) 278-2670
The Wadsworth Atheneum’s varied collections include various pottery styles, such as creamware, white stoneware, salt-glazed stoneware, majolica, and Continental porcelains. Contact museum for more information on current displays. The TCC Winter 2008 Bulletin includes additional information and photographs, taken when we visited the museum as part of our 2007 annual meeting.
Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington
The Hagley is a fascinating and scenic place to visit. Most notably, it houses one of only two documented well and tree platters in the Richard Jordan pattern, a spectacular 19 inch example. The mansion and extensive grounds were constructed by Mrs. Louise DuPont Crowninshield, and furnished with authentic period pieces from the early 1800s. In addition, it has a unique research library. The Hagley houses an important collection of manuscripts, photographs, books, and pamphlets documenting the history of American business and technology. For more information and additional photo, see the Winter 2008 TCC Bulletin article by Dan and Randy Boyer. Contact museum for more information on collection viewing.
Richard Jordan well and tree platter at the Hagley Museum. Width: 16”, length 19”.
Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, Brandywine Valley
http://www.winterthur.org/ (800) 448-3883
Winterthur is the former country estate of Henry Francis du Pont, an avid collector of antiques. The extensive collections are housed in galleries and period rooms. British pottery includes transferware, Gaudy Dutch and Gaudy Welsh, Shell Edge, Spatter and much more. Visitors are guided in small groups, and there are various tour themes. Contact the museum in advance to determine the appropriate tour and to make a reservation. Library and archives available for research, and reportedly include the papers of Sam Laidacker. Numerous research and educational programs.
The Art Institute of Chicago
http://www.artic.edu/aic/ http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/search/citi/category%3A140 (312) 443-3600
The Art Institute web site displays an extensive European Decorative Arts collection, including several hundred ceramics of British origin. Varied transferware collection, with additional Staffordshire figures, lead-glazed earthenware, Leeds, etc. Contact the museum to discern current displays.
Built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke, the Clarke House Museum is Chicago’s oldest house. The house shows what life was like for a family in Chicago during the city’s formative years before the Civil War. Its fascinating history began at a time when Chicago received its city charter and much of the area was still undeveloped prairie. About 50% of the collection is on exhibit in the period rooms at any given time. Appointments can be made with the curator Becky LaBarre to view the pieces up close. Visit the museum's Facebook page.
Baltimore Museum of Art
http://www.artbma.org/ (443) 573-1700
Features the George C. Jenkins collection, bequeathed to the museum in 1930. Two tall cases were on display as of 2005, with many additional pieces in the reserve collection. Includes many rare and unusual Historical Transferware examples. The Autumn 2005 TCC Bulletin includes a multiple page description of the collection, with photos, authored by Ted Gallagher.
American Antiquarian Society (AAS), Worcester
http://www.americanantiquarian.org/ (508) 755-5221
The AAS houses one of the most noteworthy transferware collections in the United States. Compiled by Mrs. Emma DeF. Morse, the collection was initiated in 1885 and pictured in the Old China Magazine as early as 1902. In 1913 Mrs. Morse donated 280 pieces of Historical transferware to the society. Examples include pink, mulberry and brown in addition to dark blue. The collection is documented by Dave Arman in China and Glass Quarterly, April/May 1997 (vol. I, No. 2), available to TCC members by download from our web site. The Society also has a research library, which houses many Historical as well as “Liverpool” source prints. Contact the Society to view the collection; it is not on public display.
Historic Deerfield, Deerfield
http://www.historic-deerfield.org (413) 774-5581
You can spend an entire day at Historic Deerfield, and not see everything. Thirteen houses and related period buildings, built between 1730 and 1850, display more than 25,000 objects made or used in America between 1650 and 1850. Visitors enjoy displays of period settings with a ceramics collection ranging from Chinese export porcelains to Delft wares, stonewares, creamwares, pearlwares, brownwares, painted wares, lusterwares, and transferware. The Flynt Center of Early New England Life and Memorial Hall Museum present various exhibits in museum settings. Many of the buildings exhibit 18th and 19th century pottery, including transferware.
Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge
http://www.osv.org/ (508) 347-3362
Old Sturbridge Village recreates a country down in the late 1700s to early 1800s. More than 40 buildings have been moved to the site and restored. Each houses exhibits of life at this important time in the development of the U.S. The collections include a limited number of transferware pieces. The TCC held its 2004 Annual Meeting at the village.
Stone House Museum, Belcherville
http://www.stonehousemuseum.org/ (413) 323-6573
Collection of British, primarily blue and white, Staffordshire china, displayed throughout two floors of period rooms. Unfortunately, the best of the collection, about 35 pieces, were stolen some years ago. Examples include Enoch Wood, Clews, Hall, and a few Stubbs' and Rogers. The majority of the collection is American Views. The Hall pieces are primarily British Views. Collection also includes some romantic - Wood & Sons, Jackson, and some not identified by marker or view.
We visited this lovely and interesting museum during our 2004 meeting. More information is included on the 2004 meeting summary on the TCC web site.
Not all of the collection is on display; call ahead to request that additional pieces be brought out.
There is a nice Dr. Syntax platter (see photo at right), additional Syntax, and a source print, as well as miscellaneous Staffordshire pieces.
Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn (Detroit vicinity)
http://www.hfmgv.org/ (313) 271-1620 (800) 835-5237
Reportedly contains numerous examples of transferware. Contact museum for more information.
Nelson-Atkins Gallery of Art, Kansas City
http://www.nelson-atkins.org/ (816) 751-1278
Features the Burnap Collection of British Pottery, with more than 1,200 examples of slipware, delftware and stoneware. The Nelson-Atkins’ web site claims that it is the most important collection of pre-industrial British pottery outside Britain. Newly acquired is ca. 1700 Staffordshire owl jug. Fascinating collection of political British ceramics, including transferware (Catherine Futter, Curator of Decorative Arts, lectures on the subject). Contact museum to determine display status and availability.
Steamboat Arabia Museum, Kansas City
http://www.1856.com/ http://uwf.edu/wlees/CERAMICS.pdf (816) 471-4030
The Steamboat Arabia sank in 1856 on the Missouri River about 7 miles north of Kansas City. Over 200 tons of cargo (but no passengers) was lost. The wreck was discovered in 1988, and subsequently excavated. Museum holdings include many examples of British pottery, reportedly including numerous marked Davenport pieces as well as various “flow mulberry” transferware, white Ironstone, blue feather-edge Ironstone, and ceramic (smoking) pipes. Extent and full nature of the transferware collection unknown to us. The museum houses the largest number of steamboat cargo artifacts in the United States.
Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, Council Bluffs
Fort Atkinson was occupied by as many as 1,100 soldiers from 1820 to 1827. Extensive archaeological studies have unearthed thousands of ceramic shards, including nearly 2,000 with transferware motifs. Contact the park to determine display status. The TCC web site contains a more detailed description of this site in the 2006 meeting summary on the TCC Meetings page.
Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth
http://www.strawberybanke.org/ (603) 433-1100
Strawbery Banke preserves 40 historic buildings in the oldest area of Portsmouth. Most are located at their original sites. Exhibits at several locations include transferware. Contact Strawbery Bank for more information.
Camden County Historical Society, Camden
http://www.cchsnj.com/ (856) 964-3333
Houses extensive collection of Richard Jordan pattern transferware. Contact directly for information on viewing collection.
The Newark Museum, Newark
http://www.newarkmuseum.org (973) 596-6550
Reportedly now houses the Trumbull-Prime Collection (see Princeton University Art Museum, below). Contact directly for information on viewing collection.
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton
http://artmuseum.princeton.edu 609) 258-3788
The museum formerly (?) housed the Trumbull-Prime ceramics collection, a notable collection illustrative of the history of ceramics/ Alice Morse Earle, in China Collecting in America (1892), said “There is but one public collection in America which I have seen that is of positive and unfailing worth to the American china-collector — the Trumbull-Prime Collection. The collection includes numerous examples of “Liverpool” and blue printed transferware. A “Google” search of “Trumbull-Prime” turns up dozens of references to pottery in the collection. Contact directly for information on viewing collection.
Undated view of a portion of the Trumbull-Prime Collection at Princeton University. The collection was donated to the university in 1890. Collection apparently transferred to The Newark Museum (see above)
Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany
Holdings specialize in life and culture of the Upper Hudson Valley Region from late 17th century to the present. Collections include over 1200 ceramics, reportedly including transferware. Uncertain if any is on display. Contact directly for information on viewing collection.
Alice T. Miner Museum, Chazy, NY
The Alice T. Miner Museum in Chazy, New York, opened in 1924 to house Alice Miner’s collection of early American furniture, textiles, ceramics, manuscripts, and decorative arts. For many visitors, the highlight of the museum is the third-floor ballroom, which holds more than 600 pieces of ceramics and glass, including over 100 pieces of early 19th century transferware. Only a portion of the transferware may be on exhibit at any one time. Contact the curator/director to inquire.
|Alice T. Miner Museum, Chazy, NY, exterior||ATMM-Ballroom-1926||Lafayette-jug|
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/ (718) 638-5000
Reportedly holds Adams transferware. Uncertain if displayed. Contact directly for information on viewing collection.
Clinton County Historical Association – Plattsburgh
http://clintoncountyhistorical.org/collections.html (518) 561-0340
Collection includes an undisclosed number of blue transferware, including a spectacular Commodore Macdonough’s Victory coffee pot, pictured to the left. Contact directly for information on viewing collection.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
http://www.metmuseum.org (212) 535-7710
Tucked into a “mid-floor” gallery between floors of the American Decorative Arts department is a small collection of transferware, much of which is “American Historical”. Nearby are displays of glass, metal work and many other forms of art not presented in the museum’s main galleries. A hidden treasure. Contact directly for information on viewing collection.
New York Historical Society, New York City
https://www.nyhistory.org/web/ https://www.nyhistory.org/web/default.php?section=exhibits_collections&page=collection_detail&id=9819363 (212) 873-3400
According to its web site, collections include blue and white "Staffordshire" transfer ware printed with American landscape views. Nearly 40,000 objects (of course, not all transferware) from the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture are available for viewing. An example is shown below. Two examples from the collection are shown below.
Molded pearlware plate with dark blue transfer printing; floral and eagle border with central image of City Hall, New York. Construction completed 1812.
Molded pearlware plate with dark blue transfer printing: Stubb, Joseph, Staffordshire, England,
1812-1829, earthenware. From the society’s collection.
New York State Museum, Albany
Exhibits include New York State views on “historical transferware”. Not certain that the collection is on continuous view. Contact directly for information on viewing collection.
Rochester Museum and Science Center, Rochester
http://www.rmsc.org/ http://collections.rmsc.org/BritishPottery/index.html (585) 271-4320
Extensive collection of “Staffordshire” (blue transfer print) and Liverpool, particularly of views of the Erie Canal. Superb web site with images of pottery, background material on transferware and related pottery production, and bibliography. Photos (below) courtesy of and from the collection of the New York Historical Society.
Enoch Wood & Sons, Views of the Erie Canal series: View of the Aqueduct Bridge at Rochester (left) and View of the Aqueduct Bridge at Little Falls (right) (Acc. No. 84.46.2).
Ralph Stevenson: detail of Erie Canal at Buffalo (MC 628, Acc. No. 37.454.128.
Unknown Maker: Entrance of the (Erie) Canal into the Hudson at Albany MC 509, Acc. No. 26.34).
Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester
http://www.strongmuseum.org/ (585) 263-2700
Unconfirmed collection of transferware, reportedly including Adams. Home of the Petra Williams Collection of Flow Blue and Mulberry (also Copper Luster and white embossed Ironstone). Contact directly for information on viewing collection.
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte
http://www.mintmuseums.org/ (704) 337-2000
The Mint Museum of Art contains a rich collection of ceramics, including various British holdings. In particular, the museum holds the Delholm Collection of British and Continental ceramics. Contact museum for additional information.