Opening Celebration for Raise A Glass: A Contemporary Response to Animal-Shaped Drinking Vessels from the Ancient World


Saturday, October 13, 2018, 4:00pm to 7:00pm


Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard

Making an animal-shaped drinking vesselJoin us to celebrate the opening of Raise a Glass—A Contemporary Response to Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World, an exhibition at the Harvard Ceramics Program that is inspired by the Harvard Art Museums’ current special exhibition, Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with Gods, Heroes, and Kings.


On view from October 13 through November 26, 2018, Raise a Glass features contemporary ceramic artists Russell Wrankle, The Residuum. Ceramic, Glaze, Gold Luster, 2018.responding to the elaborate vessels featured in the Animal-Shaped Vessels exhibition. Fourteen internationally recognized contemporary sculptors and vessel makers were invited to seek inspiration in subject matter, form, function and/or culture of origin from these ancient vessels, which illustrate how shapes, artistic forms, ideas, and traditions have exchanged across borders throughout time.

During the opening reception, the public will have the chance to enrich their viewing experience through a hands-on encounter with materials and process. Artists from the Harvard Ceramics Program will demonstrate the use of ceramic press molds developed for research purposes for Harvard Art Museums curators. Participants will be invited to try press molding their own terracotta animal-head drinking vessels.

The intent of Raise a Glass is for artists to work with the time-honored materials of ceramic, metal, and glass to honor and provide a complementary view into the mind of ancient makers represented in the Harvard Art Museums exhibition. Artists include:

Natalia Arbelaez

Bruce Armitage

Jessica Brandl

John Byrd

Pattie Chalmers

Richard W. James

Salvador Jimenez-Flores

Kukuli Velarde

Kate MacDowell

Jenny Mendes

Mia Riley

Adam Shiverdecker

Kevin Snipes

Adam Whitney

Russell Wrankle

Co-sponsored by the Harvard Ceramics Program and the Harvard Art Museums, in conjunction with Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with Gods, Heroes and Kings, on view at the Harvard Art Museums from September 7, 2018 through January 6, 2019.

Admission is free and open to all ages.

This opening reception and public demonstration will take place at the Harvard Ceramics Program, 224 Western Avenue, Allston.

Support for this event—as well as crucial support for the exhibition—has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. In addition, the Harvard Art Museums are deeply grateful to the anonymous donor of a gift in memory of Melvin R. Seiden and to Malcolm H. Wiener (Harvard A.B. ’57, J.D. ’63) and Michael and Helen Lehmann for enabling us to mount this exhibition and to pursue the related research. This work was also made possible in part by the following endowed funds: the David M. Robinson Fund; the Andrew W. Mellon Publication Funds, including the Henry P. McIlhenny Fund; and the M. Victor Leventritt Fund, which brings outstanding scholars of the history and theory of art to the Harvard and Greater Boston communities through the generosity of the wife, children, and friends of the late M. Victor Leventritt, Harvard Class of 1935.

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