Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850–1970…
casts new light on the legacy of this distinctive company, established in 1831 in Providence, Rhode Island. Home to the largest collection of Gorham, the RISD Museum presents exceptional silver and mixed-metal wares, reflecting the industry, artistry, innovation, and technology of the manufactory for 120 years. Adeptly coupling art and industry, Gorham boldly rose from a small firm to become the largest silver company in the world, putting uniquely American design on the international stage. Creating everything from commissioned presentation pieces to show-stoppers for the dining room, Gorham responded to the era’s desire to celebrate, feast, socialize, honor, and simply enjoy the everyday in style. Accompanied by a major publication (Rizzoli) with stunning new imagery and recent research, the exhibition will travel to the Cincinnati Art Museum and The Mint Museum.
Exhibition Preview Lecture and Dinner
MAY 2 | 5:30–9 pm
Elizabeth A. Williams, the RISD Museum’s David and Peggy Rockefeller Curator of Decorative Art and Design, previews the exhibition for invited guests followed by dinner in the Grand Gallery. Registration required.
Critical Encounters: Designing Innovation
MAY 3 | 10 am–5:30 pm
Explore the history and impact of Gorham Manufacturing on industry, innovation, technology, and artistry in this day-long gathering with historians, curators, designers, and silversmiths. Sponsored by Victoria Veh. Registration required. Free.
MAY 3 | 5:30–7:30 pm
Celebrate Gorham’s important contribution to Rhode Island and design history. Refreshments. Free.
Super Art Sunday
Join us for a day of special family-friendly activities focused on Gorham Silver. Get the entire family looking, thinking, and making together. Sponsored by Bank of Newport. Free.
Design the Night
JUL 18 | 5–9 pm
Design your own summer night with lively art, music, food and drink. Sponsored by Zennovation Fund. Free.
Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850–1970 is made possible by a sponsoring grant from the Henry Luce Foundation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the RISD Museum Associates, Textron Inc., the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Joseph A. Chazan, MD, Virginia and Alan Nathan, Cindy and Scott Burns, and a generous in-kind gift from Spencer Marks, Ltd. Educational programming associated with the exhibition is made possible by a lead sponsorship from the Zennovation Fund and generous additional support from Victoria Veh.
The RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and the RISD Museum Board of Governors.
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