An exhibition at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard Art Museum on the campus of the University of Louisiana will showcase contemporary flatware from 1898 to 2011. Drawn primarily from the collection of Dr. William P. Hood Jr., 330 examples from 110 patterns from around the world will illustrate the changes in decorative style, size, function, materials and techniques.

In conjunction with the exhibit, UAM will also host a lecture by collector Dr. William P. Hood, Jr. Saturday, August 20, 2011, 2:00 p.m. followed by a reception August 20, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. Hilliard Museum's Betty Pfankuch Ramsay Atrium. Dr. Hood will speak on the topic of flatware design.

Since the nineteenth century designers have been breaking with tradition and dreaming up contemporary dining tools. At times the change has just been new decoration; at others it’s been a new form or type, sometimes challenging our preconceived notion of how flatware should look and sometimes blurring the distinction between eating and serving implements. Advances in production technology have resulted in new composition, texture, colors and wear-resistance.

For this exhibit, flatware designs and place setting are grouped thematically into 8 sections: Espresso, anyone?—small coffee spoons and in many cases matching cups and saucers; Eating can be fun—children’s flatware, combining novelty and functionality; A salad of servers—tools for tossing salad in myriad designs; Mamma mia!—implements for eating and serving pasta and pizza; These take the cake—servers for pastry; Traveling flatware—flatware to go; Flatware that’s not flat—new ideas or new takes on old ideas; and Lovingly handmade—artful creations crafted by artisans.

This exhibit was organized by the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum at the University of Louisiana.

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