The Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts: World-class Collection of Ceramic Art and Studio glass in South Florida

By: CultureOwl
Visual Arts
The Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts: World-class Collection of Ceramic Art and Studio glass in South Florida

The WienerMuseum of Decorative Arts (WMODA) is a world-class museum in South Florida celebrating the fired arts of ceramics and glass. The museum features thousands of works from the world’s most renowned ceramic and glass artists.

In addition to a vast collection of 19th and 20th century British pottery and porcelain from factories such as Wedgwood and Royal Doulton, the Wiener Museum displays works by contemporary ceramic artists from the UK and South Africa.

A spectacular collection of Dale Chihuly’s work is exhibited in the Hot Glass gallery at WMODA along with works by other great glass artists in the Art on Fire exhibit, including William Morris and Toots Zynsky. Recent glass installations include Constellations, a dazzling display of Windstars by Rob Stern. WMODA also hosts an exciting program of exhibitions, including Fantastique which explores the enchanted world of ceramic art, Carnival & Cabaret which celebrates the art of having fun, the Art of Tea, which presents the ritual of afternoon tea, and A Safari for the Soul, exploring Ardmore Ceramic Art from South Africa.


This entertaining exhibit explores the flamboyant festivals in Venice, Rio and New Orleans as seen by porcelain artists from Europe. Discover how Harlequin and Columbine and other characters from the Italian Commedia dell’Arte have influenced carnival fun, the art of clowning and masquerade balls through the ages. Masking was particularly popular during the roaring 1920s to disguise the flirtatious behavior of the flappers. The centerpiece is Cinderella arriving at the ball, a masterpiece of fantasy in porcelain by Lladró of Spain. Cabaret and variety shows in early 20th century Paris and Berlin also reveled in the theatrical excesses of carnival costumes in the performing arts.


A giant smiling hippopotamus greets you as you enter the contemporary ceramics gallery at the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts and visitors can’t stop smiling in return. The hippo was made by Ardmore Ceramic Arts, a thriving artist collective in the picturesque Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The studio was started thirty-five years ago by Fée Halsted, a talented ceramic artist who teaches local men and women how to make and decorate pottery. There are now around 80 sculptors and painters in the Ardmore studio making whimsical and uplifting works of art. As well as hippos, the Ardmore exhibition includes many other African animals which burst out of luxuriant foliage to form vibrant vases, tureens and bowls.


Discover how skilled potters have provided the most appropriate tea services to suit all tastes and budgets for the last three centuries. Whether you drink tea hot or cold, using loose leaves or teabags, in the morning, afternoon or evening, you’ll be charmed by the sophisticated, ingenious and even quirky designs by Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and other famous makers.


Fantastique celebrates the enchanted world of ceramic art. From myths and monsters to fairies and fables, you will be spellbound by the flights of fancy of European ceramic artists during the last two centuries. Fire-breathing dragons of the Dark Ages do battle with heroic knights or guard the treasures of the Eastern seas. Mermaids and other wonders of the deep beguile mariners while pixies, goblins and other denizens of Fairyland enchant children and adults alike. The mysteries of life and the age-old conflicts between good and evil, darkness and light, life and death are interpreted by sages, seers and truth-seekers in the universal myths of the world. On the dark side, there are macabre witches, wizards, ghosts and ghouls, while good angels and cherubs bring blessings from heaven and cupid’s arrow initiates love and new life. The spectacular Niagara chandelier, featuring cascades of porcelain fairies, was donated as the centerpiece of this show by Lladró of Spain in December 2020.

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