This exhibition features an inspiring selection of fine and decorative European arts from The Mint Museum’s collection, created between the mid-eighteenth and early twentieth centuries. These paintings and objects trace the wide range of styles and subjects popular in Western Europe during the period. Familiar audience favorites, such as Allan Ramsey’s majestic portraits of Queen Charlotte and King George III and the elegantly decorated sedan chair, will remain on view, and will be joined by other highlights from the collection including pastoral French Barbizon landscapes and light-filled impressionist scenes by artists including Eugène-Louis Boudin and Henri Martin.
A number of fascinating juxtapositions will link the fine and decorative arts, including a case containing ceramics adorned with images of Queen Charlotte, the city’s namesake, installed near her portrait by Allan Ramsay, and a black basalt sculpture by Josiah Wedgwood displayed near a portrait of his cousin, Thomas Wedgwood. Other objects on view showcase a combination of fine and decorative traditions, such as miniatures integrating painting and jewelsmithing, and the stately sedan chair, which incorporates elements of architectural design, fine woodworking, painting, and upholstery. This installation also highlights the generosity of local collectors and patrons and their importance to the museum, as many of the objects on view were donated by area families over the past fifty years.