Friday, September 17, 2010
"Beautiful 'Shiny Things'"

The Photo Friday theme this week is 'reflect'. What a delightful excuse to bring out a lovely 'shiny thing' at Chicago's Art Institute:

A reflective sculptural pitcher , photo not badly harmed by reflections of trees in the opposing courtyard.

Info at Museum website:
Pitcher, 1947/1956
Designed by Oscar Riedener
American, born Switzerland, 1901-2000
Made by Tiffany & Company, American, founded 1837
Silver, 28.3 x 20.3 x 14 cm (11 1/8 x 8 x 5 1/2 in.)
Marked: "Tiffany & Co./ Makers / Sterling Silver / 12673w"
The Orbit Fund, 1999.292

I like to think my photo has more warmth to it than one careful to avoid all reflections. That's one reason why I like 'shiny things', because they are so reflective. These utilitarian servants reflect ourselves and our environment, and in this way seem more ours.

To further illustrate, I have photos of other lovely 'shiny things' at this museum:

Teapot, 1960
William N. Frederick, American, born 1921
Sterling silver and ebony, 19.7 X 23.5 cm (7 3/4 x 9 1/4 in.)

I am reflected upside down, so I've rotated this detail 180 degrees...

View from top...

Circa 70 tea and coffee service, 1963, (designed 1958, introduced 1960)
Donald Colflesh, American, born 1932 in Cleveland and a graduate of Pratt Institute
Sterling, laminate and ebony
Made by Gorham Manufacturing Company (founded 1831)
Through prior bequest of Arthur Rubloff, 2009.1036

The info card says 'recent acquisition', hence I couldn't find it at the museum website, but refers to it and gives a photo. They have a different tray with handles, however.

Although the info card was cropped too severely while photographing it, I can still make out most of what it says:
"In 1956 Gorham Manufacturing Company, the country's leading maker and retailer of fashionable silver, recruite Donald Colflesh to bring a 'contemporary dimension' to its traditional products. Colflesh's most popular and successful design for the firm was the Circa '70 series in which he brilliantly captured America's ambition to go to the moon. In this coffee servive, the intersecting angles epitomize the era of space craft design, and the curving, upright thrust of the handles and spouts conveys the aerodynamics of the jet age..."

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