Houston celebrates Founding Fathers

Houston celebrates Founding Fathers

October 5th, 2012 by Staff Report in Chattnow Art

IF YOU GO

What: "Americana" exhibit.

When: Through Nov. 11. Open noon-4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, other hours by appointment.

Where: Houston Museum of Decorative Arts, 201 High St.

Admission: $9 adults, $3.50 children under 17 (includes museum tour). Half-price admission on first Sunday of each month.

Phone: 267-7176.

Website: www.thehoustonmuseum.org.

A new exhibit celebrating the election process and the freedoms it represents is on view at the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts. "Americana" features ceramic, glass, metal and even wooden pieces that reflect the nation's political past.

According to a news release, the Houston Museum contains a significant number of political and patriotic objects. The "Americana" exhibit focuses on pieces of the presidency, artifacts highlighting the American eagle and patriotic novelties.

Presidential pieces include several ceramic pitchers and a ceramic mug bearing the likeness of George Washington and a Lincoln Drape-patterned water goblet and pressed-glass log cabins commemorating Abraham Lincoln. A rare flint enamel pitcher formed in the likeness of Zachary Taylor celebrates the 12th president's role in the Mexican-American War. Two Toby jugs represent President William McKinley; one portrays McKinley as Napoleon, in keeping with the political satire of the day.

The federal eagle is pictured in many items in the exhibit, including an early 20th-century earthenware tankard, a brass eagle, a pair of miniature night lamps and a rare 1892 coin-glass lamp. Coin glass was briefly produced by U.S. Glass Co. using U.S. coins as part of the mold into which glass was pressed. The U.S. Treasury Department forced the company to discontinue production because use of the coin pattern constituted a form of counterfeiting.

Novelty items include a glass bank formed as the Liberty Bell, an Uncle Sam syrup jar and an occupational shaving mug. Precursors to business cards, occupational shaving mugs portrayed the name and vocation of their owners.