The Centennial Exhibition was one in a series of international exhibitions that were largely held in Europe and the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century. Contemporary press coverage acknowledged that the European ceramics were among the most important industrial arts at the Centennial. Illustrated with European ceramics that were acquired at the Centennial, many of which are currently in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this lecture will highlight the unprecedented innovation that characterized the European ceramic industry in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Donna Corbin was the Louis C. Madeira IV Associate Curator of European Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1992 until her retirement in November 2017. During her time at the Museum, which began in 1981, she curated numerous exhibitions on a wide variety of topics that spanned the period from 1700 to the present. These included exhibitions on Wedgwood encaustic ceramics, 18th-century French silver, 18th-century English ceramics, 20th- and 21st- century Scandinavian design, the architect Louis Kahn, and the contemporary Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola. She is presently working on an exhibition on contemporary craft that is scheduled to open at the Museum in November 2020. She has published widely including in such journals as those of the French Porcelain Society, the Decorative Arts Society, and Ceramics in America. She is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University where she was honored as the Alumnus of the Year in 2017. From 2001, she served on the Board of the American Ceramic Circle and was the Chairperson of the organization at the time of her retirement.