Photo by Bruce M. White

Majolica Mania: Transatlantic Pottery in England and the United States, 1850–1915, the three-volume catalogue that accompanied Bard Graduate Center’s recent exhibition of the same name, was awarded the 2021 Historians of British Art (HBA) Book Prize for an outstanding multi-authored book on the history of British art, architecture, and visual culture.

In its announcement, the HBA stated:

From beehive Stilton cheese stands to cockatoo jugs, the three lavishly illustrated volumes of Majolica Mania offer a visual fantasia that is as fascinating and comprehensive as its scholarship. … Majolica’s historiography, design, production, uses (from architectural decoration and sculpture to hygienic dishware), iconographies, relationship to design reform, promotion through exhibitions, and more are explored in this major research undertaking, which definitively establishes the importance of these ceramics for our understanding of nineteenth-century culture, and offers serious delight while doing so.
The catalogue is the first comprehensive study of the most important ceramic innovation of the nineteenth century. Edited by Dr. Susan Weber, founder and director of Bard Graduate Center and Iris Horowitz Professor in the History of the Decorative Arts, with Catherine Arbuthnott, Jo Briggs, Eleanor Hughes, Earl Martin (associate curator, BGC), and Laura Microulis (research curator, BGC), and designed by Laura Grey (art director, BGC), it features essays by international experts that address the extensive output of the originators and manufacturers in England—including Minton, Wedgwood, and George Jones—and the migration of English craftsmen to the United States. New research including information on important American makers is also featured. Fully illustrated, the book is enlivened by new photos by Bruce White of pieces from major museums and private collections in the United States and Great Britain.

To purchase the catalogue, visit