What’s Behind Hillary?

I’m not sure where Hillary Clinton was for this interview, but I did recognize the porcelain behind her from a recent auction at Sotheby’s. A similar plate from the collection of Elinor Gordon brought $21,250 January 23.

Sotheby’s provided these details:  “A relatively small number of orange ‘Fitzhugh’ dinner wares appear to survive, and of these some are a variant type with gilt monograms in place of the red stripes on the shield. Given the very close similarity in execution of the eagle and dark, almost reddish coloring of the orange enamel on the surviving pieces of the present decoration, it is quite probable that they were all made at the same time, and, given that there are a relatively small number of surviving pieces, formed originally just one service, since it seems unlikely that such expensive, and patriotic, china would have been discarded lightly, even if damaged. Mudge, 1986, p. 214, pl. 349, illustrates a ‘well and tree’ platter with identical decoration and notes that it is “associated with John R. Stockton, senator, then congressman from New Jersey.” Richard Stockton (1764-1828) was elected to the United States Senate from 1796-1799, and to Congress in 1813, serving until 1815.”

A large oval warming platter in this pattern, the property of the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York was sold in these rooms, April 4, 2007, lot 243.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.


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