Everson Museum Cafe

Everson Museum of Art, 2019

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Our proposal for the Everson Museum Cafe and ceramics gallery for the newly-acquired Rosenfield Collection of ceramics begins with the museum’s mandate that the collection be engaged with through use. To do so requires a reinvention of how small sculptural objects are exhibited. Visitor access and handling of the objects are only one part of this new mode of display: it also involved witnessing how others use them, and how use generates social interaction and common experience.

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We proposed a single large table composed of interlocking vitrines that display objects both in use on the tabletop and as part of the collection in the vitrines.

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Our proposal allows visitors to physically interact with cups, plates, and teapots from the collection and it stages interacts between objects, which are generally designed to be part of part a group: a place setting or tea set. Each vitrine is a distinct stage set for a set of objects, arrangements that can be reconfigured with different objects and groupings over time.

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This scenography is based on the typical Setting for ceramics when they are in use – the tabletop. Below the glass tabletop, the vitrine surfaces are printed with a specific graphic backdrop of archetypal tabletops from the lifespan of the collection – steel tabletops from American diners, the white tablecloths of nouveau cuisine, or rustic wood surfaces of farm-to-table dining. These settings speak to the history of how these objects have been used.

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The scenography is printed on mirror, allowing reflection to filter through the graphic. Relying on our interest in architectural illusion and constructed perspective, each printed graphic is a projected reflection of the tabletop scene, if it were on the tabletop and seen from a particular viewpoint.

This projection creates the illusion of a fictional tabletop on top of the glass surface. As the viewer moves, the tabletop alternates between cohesive and fractured view.

Project Team: Taka Tachibe, Brandon Wetzel