Timothy Wilson will be speaking at the Joan Stacke Graham Lecture on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. His talk is entitled “Majolica and Maiolica in Victorian England.”

Timothy Wilson is Professor of the Arts of the Renaissance at Oxford University, and has been Keeper of the Department of Western Art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (a department of Oxford University), since 1990. He was previously (1979-1990) Assistant Keeper with responsibility for the Renaissance collections in the Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities of the British Museum. Wilson’s publications on Renaissance ceramics include Ceramic Art of the Italian Renaissance (British Museum, London, 1987); Maiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics in the Ashmolean Museum (2nd ed, Oxford 2003); Le maioliche rinascimentali nelle collezioni della Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia (editor and principal author) (Perugia 2006-7); the entries on ceramics in Western Decorative Arts, Part 1 (Systematic Catalogue of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Washington and Cambridge 1993) and on Urbino maiolica in the catalogue of the ceramics in the Museo d’Arti Applicate at the Castello Sforzesco, Milan (2000); as well as many articles in English and Italian periodicals and entries in exhibition catalogues. Additionally, Wilson was editor of Italian Renaissance Pottery (British Museum, London, 1991) and co-author of Italian Renaissance ceramics: a catalogue of the British Museum collection (British Museum, London, 2009). He is currently working on a book on maiolica in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is a Senior Fellow of the Frick Center for the History of Collecting.

Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery, which, at its most ambitious in the sixteenth century, is effectively a branch of Renaissance painting. In the middle of the nineteenth century it became the object of passionate and competitive collection by museums and wealthy individuals in England, France, and elsewhere in Europe. One of what is now the greatest of all collections of Renaissance maiolica was launched, after the Great London Exhibition of 1851, at the museum in South Kensington now known as the Victoria and Albert Museum. The success and collectability of this pottery encouraged the great Stoke-on-Trent firm of Minton’s to launch a product that they named Majolica, using the Victorian pronunciation of the Italian word. The stated purpose of the museum in its founding years was to improve public taste and to provide models for British industry. This lecture will look at how this aim succeeded spectacularly in pottery, giving rise to the hugely successful Victorian product we still call Majolica.

The Joan Stacke Graham Lectures are supported by the Majolica International Society.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.