Delicate Porcelain Treasures

Once the heiress and Palm Beach socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post acquired her first piece of French porcelain in the 1920s, she could not get enough of the exquisitely designed functional art. Post filled her sprawling Hillwood estate in D.C., which is now a museum, with her finds, including a golden, porcelain-topped table and figurines from around the world. This spring, her personal stash, along with items from the Smithsonian, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Frick Collection, will juxtapose the old with the new during Hillwood’s exhibition The Luxury of Clay: Porcelain Past and Present, opening February 19. Featuring more than 140 platters, teacups, and vases, the show traces porcelain’s evolution over three hundred years. “Antique porcelain, from glazes to shapes to materials, still influences ceramists today,” says Rebecca Tilles, the museum’s associate curator. Antique and contemporary designs will be displayed together, including an early-1700s Meissen stoneware teapot beside Robert Lugo’s 2018 ceramic form.

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