National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Ceramic Dog Ceramic Dog
Rendered by Marian Curtis Foster (artist), c. 1936
watercolor, graphite, and gouache on paperboard
overall: 22.2 x 29.2 cm (8 3/4 x 11 1/2 in.) Original IAD Object: 8 1/2" high; 9 1/2" long
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Pottery from the Index of American Design
Object 17 of 17

Both earthenware and porcelain were produced at the Bennington potteries. Their output included functional items and a great variety of decorative wares. Among the most popular of the elaborately modeled forms is the so-called "Bennington poodle," a standing poodle with a basket of fruit in its mouth. These poodles were usually made in pairs as mantel ornaments; here we see just one of a pair. A variety of glazes was used on these figures; this poodle has been given a Rockingham glaze whose fluidity emphasizes the sleekness of the body. In contrast to the smooth surface, the mane is shaggy. The potter achieved this effect, popularly called "cole-slaw decoration," by pushing moist clay through a fine screen. Decorative animal forms were produced by most American potteries during the nineteenth century, but Bennington animals, in particular, display careful modeling, uniform and brilliant glazes, and interesting touches of inventiveness and whimsy.

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