The Artful Teapot: Fact Sheet

Released April 11, 2005


The Artful Teapot: 20th–Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection

ON VIEW: November 25, 2005 – March 5, 2006

LOCATION: Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem, MA 01970


The Artful Teapot: 20th–Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection explores the teapot–a nearly universal domestic item–as a vehicle for artistic expression. This comprehensive and highly original exhibition features 250 teapots by over 100 internationally known artists, including Michael Graves, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, George E. Ohr, Cindy Sherman, and Beatrice Wood. The exhibition opens Nov. 25, 2005 and runs through March 5, 2006 at the Peabody Essex Museum.

The Artful Teapot demonstrates how the teapot can be provocative, playful, and profound as well as conventional. Addressing aesthetic, social, and political issues, the exhibitionexamines the teapot's ability to be more than just a device to serve tea.

The exhibition provides a comprehensive view of the contemporary teapot to date, featuring works in a multitude of forms, including human, animal, vegetable, and even architectural. The teapots on view are made from a wide range of materials from fine porcelain to bottle caps. Highlights include Zoe Morrow’s Five on the Line teapot, which features dozens of US $5 bills shredded and woven into the shape of a teapot; David Gignac’s Celestial Teapot, in which a white, hand-blown glass orb sits atop forged steel branches simulating a moonlit night; and, David Gilhooly’s Oreo and Frog Teapot, which is a basic black earthenware teapot that has life-like frogs crawling up through cookies to escape the teapot’s lid. Also included is Resurrection of a Broken Teapot, a striking sculpture by Laszlo Fekete that depicts distressed stoneware hands holding up a pristine porcelain teapot.

All of the works in the exhibition have been selected from the celebrated collection of Sonny and Gloria Kamm’s personal trove of more than 7,500 teapots. Visiting art galleries and art fairs and commissioning artists to create their own interpretations of the object, the Kamms have together amassed the largest collection of teapots in the United States, possibly the world.

Curator Garth Clark, scholar and author of numerous books on ceramic art, has chosen teapots from the Kamm’s collection that both illustrate the beauty and power of the form and stand independently as works of art. Clark is the founder and current director of the Ceramic Arts Foundation (NYC). The exhibition features drawings, photographs, and a video that documents the history of the teapot and the arrival of tea in the West. While many of the teapots featured in The Artful Teapot have been created within the last few decades, a selection of historical pieces representing the teapot’s 400-year history are also on display, giving a contextual basis to the contemporary works.

The Artful Teapot: 20th–Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by Exhibitions International, a not-for-profit organization in New York City that provides cultural programs, primarily in the form of art exhibitions. Exhibitions International is the only American traveling exhibition service to focus on design, decorative arts, and architecture.

CURATORS: Garth Clark, a scholar and author of numerous books on ceramic art, and founder and current director of the Ceramic Arts Foundation (NYC). Karina Corrigan, the Peabody Essex Museum’s associate curator of Asian Export Art, is the coordinating curator of The Artful Teapot.

PUBLICATION: The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue by curator Garth Clark.

MEDIA PREVIEW: A media preview for The Artful Teapot will be held Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005, from 12 to 2 p.m. Please RSVP to or call 978-745-9500 x3228.

SPONSORS: The exhibition is organized and circulated by Exhibitions International, New York. The PEM venue of The Artful Teapot is sponsored in part through generous support from the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, Mass.

IMAGES: Digital images are available on request.

ACCESS: The Peabody Essex Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information regarding access, please call: 978-745-1876.


PR Contacts:

April Swieconek  -  Director of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3109  -

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Director of Communications  -  978-542-1828  -

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