Ceramics and Jefferson's Aesthetic Philosophy

Jack Gary

in Jefferson's Poplar Forest

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039886
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043807 | DOI:
Ceramics and Jefferson's Aesthetic Philosophy

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In this chapter, the author explores how consumers expressed individual aesthetics and broader ideology through mass-produced objects. At Poplar Forest, Jefferson encoded Enlightenment ideas of beauty and autobiographical experiences in the landscape and architecture to express personal aesthetics. These ideas and values provided the framework for consumer choices as well. Ceramic styles used in his household emphasized contemporary neoclassical ideals, while romantic landscapes and particular British scenes materialized Jefferson's personal interests and experiences. The social performance dining provided a stage to create or strengthen relationships among family members, neighbors, and individuals close to him. The transfer-printed wares found at Poplar Forest conveyed an aesthetic value directly tied to the owner and the place, one that diners would have immediately recognized.

Keywords: aesthetics; ceramic styles; consumers; transfer-printed; social performance

Chapter.  7186 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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