New Amsterdam at 400

A Celebration of Contemporary Dutch Ceramics


In September, Greenwich House Pottery will launch the Centennial Exhibition Series, the “New Amsterdam at 400: A Celebration of Contemporary Dutch Ceramics,” celebrating the fourth century mark of Dutch ceramic influence on New York City.

The exhibit highlights the works of Dutch designers who have been innovating ceramics in form and style since the period of the Dutch colonization of New Amsterdam to the present day.

New Amsterdam at 400: A Celebration of Contemporary Dutch Ceramics” presents works produced by companies including Royal Tichelaar Makkum, which was founded in 1594 and still uses local Frisian stoneware. Antique Makkum ceramics are exhibited in museums around the world, and today Makkum produces the works of Dutch designers innovating ceramics in form and style. As the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam was established in September 1609, this exhibition uniquely connects Greenwich House Pottery's own anniversary with the cultural heritage of Dutch settlement in New York City.

Meet the descendants of the Delftware pots and tiles you know and love: a tulip vase that resembles plumbing, blue and white vases etched with commercial brand icons, a minimalist stoneware bird house. All of the objects in this show are inspired by the centuries-old formal and decorative traditions of ceramics from the Netherlands, but their designers have taken full advantage of the latest ceramic technology to realize their ideas.

Designers including Demakersvan, Hella Jongerius and Jo Meesters have collaborated with the venerable firms Royal Tichelaar Makkum and Cor Unum to create these enchanting objects. Support for this exhibition, which was organized with Wabnitz Editions, has been provided by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Netherland America Foundation.

Wilma Wabnitz, founder and CEO of Wabnitz Editions, is a native of Arnhem, Holland. She began her career running a poster gallery, where she developed an interest in contemporary design. Upon moving to the US, she began importing Dutch design and decorative arts for the American market. Wabnitz Editions represents many top designers working in the Netherlands today, including Hella Jongerius, Jo Meesters, and Marcel Wanders, as well as the firms Droog, Cor Unum and Makkum among many others. Her firm has collaborated with institutions in the US including the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.

This exhibition is generously supported by a grant from the Netherlands America Foundation, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

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