Age of Jazz: British Art Deco Ceramics

11 June - 30 October 2005

Exhibition now closed

The 1920s and '30s were a time of glamour, elegance and high style. In this major exhibition, Age of Jazz: British Art Deco Ceramics, the Walker Art Gallery showcased the beautiful, the brash and the bizarre.

Featuring ceramics from the Walker Art Gallery's decorative art collections and loans from all over the Britain, the exhibition is the first of its kind in the UK. It includes paintings and a period room setting to recreate the feeling of the period.

Featuring some top Art Deco manufacturers and designers such as Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper, Crown Devon and Shelley, Age of Jazz highlights some exceptionally rare objects, a number of which are thought to be the only examples in existence. Pieces made by leading artists of the day are shown next to some of the more cheaply-produced wares which brought a sense of fun to the tea table. The wide variety of fabulous objects include masks, figurines, vases, tableware - all with a range of influences such as Cubism, Modernism, Oriental and Egyptian art.

Highlights include a pair of masks, known today as The Blonde and The Brunette, designed by Susie Cooper. The Brunette is sometimes known as Greta Garbo whilst The Blonde is thought to be a self-portrait of the artist, although Cooper never publicly confirmed it.

Some of the strangest works in the exhibition come in the shape of a series of Cubist-inspired figures by painter of cats Louis Wain. Following his wife's serious illness and subsequent death, Wain became obsessed with cats and was later committed to an asylum.

Examples of the work of designer Clarice Cliff are wide ranging and the exhibition will feature tea sets, vases, tableware and the extremely rare Age of Jazz figures.