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Bar Pitcher

A work made of porcelain.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of porcelain.

Date:

c. 1880

Artist:

Karl L.H. Müller
American, 1820–1887
Union Porcelain Works
American, 1863–c. 1922

About this artwork

This bar pitcher exemplifies a uniquely American style of ceramics using imagery of contemporary literature, events, and daily life. The bear-shaped handle and long-tusked walrus spout evoke exploration of, and US expansion into, the Pacific Northwest. On one side of the pitcher, the legendary King Gambrinus, inventor of beer, presents a keg to Brother Jonathan, a fictional character symbolic of the United States. The vignette depicted on the other side can be seen as a racist response to Chinese immigration in the 19th century. In a scene drawn from a well-known contemporary poem, “Plain Language from Truthful James” by Bret Harte, an Irish miner draws his sword against a fellow Chinese worker over a game of cards; the poem, while intended by the author as a satire against the improper treatment of Chinese immigrants, reinforces negative stereotypes.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

Karl L. H. Müller

Title

Bar Pitcher

Origin

Greenpoint

Date

c. 1880

Medium

Porcelain

Dimensions

24.8 × 26.7 cm (9 3/4 × 10 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Martha and William Steen and Mrs. Frank Sulzberger funds; Delphine G. Schoen Trust and Stone Foundation endowments

Reference Number

1999.293

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/152748/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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