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Museum of ceramic art

Danish Dinner Services

Danish Dinner Services
– from Delightful Flowers to Raw Glazes

29 August 2021 – 15 May 2022

The choice of a dinner service is rarely a question of functionality only. It is also an aesthetic choice to beautify our everyday life. As time passes, the dinner services of the home will become increasingly significant. The more they are used, the more tales they will tell.

Dinner services are not just dinner services! They are carriers of meaning and substance and they vary when it comes to material, shape, colour, and decoration. Created under different circumstances by both artists, architects and designers who have varyingly emphasized either the wow factor, aesthetics, or functionality.

The Danish dinner services thus represent a rich cultural heritage and reflect the socio-cultural development in Denmark. From the conspicuously magnificent dinner services to the popular services which have united us in both everyday life and at parties for generations.

During the 1800s and the 1900s, the luxurious services, which were complicated to produce, were reserved for the royal family and the aristocracy. In step with new production and business methods, the dinner services found their way from the upper social classes to ordinary homes.

In 2010, CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art accepted the donation of the historic Royal Copenhagen Collection. This collection includes both dinner services and coffee services made of porcelain, stoneware, or faience. These services are the core elements of this exhibition.

Through 20 selected dinner services, the exhibition narrates the history of the services. From the first delicate sketches to the day when the finished plates and cups are put on the table ready to create storytelling in the Danish homes.

This selection is based on a new, lavishly illustrated book written by the author Lars Hedebo Olsen.