About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

cats on the tiles

Gift of Huldah Cail Lorimer
in memory of George Burford Lorimer (The Brooklyn Museum)
Cats on this tile, anyway: a pair of striped, speckled tigers in a stylized cage.  (Longtime readers will have guessed this is my every-so-often "I'm gonna let tigers slide into The Pet Museum because I wish I had one" post.)  The vivid color and strong individual graphic sense had me convinced this was a modern piece of craft.  It isn't.  This tile was made by some unnamed hand in the 19th century, who used the tile's back to incise a wacky elephant and clown scene.  You can see that alternate view at the Brooklyn Museum's record page here.

This tile so full of charm was a gift, as you see in the photo's credit line.  Huldah Cail Lorimer (later Huldah Mingledorff) presented this and a great many other 18th and 19th century folk ceramics to the Brooklyn Museum.  They'd belonged to her late husband, the writer and editor George Burford Lorimer, who in turn had inherited them from his father.  This is where the story gets interesting.  George Burford Lorimer's father was George Horace Lorimer (1867-1937), the editor under whose leadership the Saturday Evening Post reached readership in the millions.  Lorimer senior promoted the inclusion in the Post of such American greats as Jack London and Sinclair Lewis.  Then apparently he went home and collected folk art to relax.  I'm being flip there, but I don't feel I'm wrong.  It makes sense to me that a man who was trying to bring the best of American literary craft to everyone would be attracted to other authentic crafts.
Bonus:  if the link will work for you, here's a 1977 story in The New York Times about Huldah, the collection, and a dispute.

1 comment:

parlance said...

Lovely artwork. And the scene on the back is fun.