Thursday, September 18
Museum Members $5; Public $15 Buy tickets
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John Gardener Low was a talented tile artist, who was also a savvy businessman. His tiles graced fireplace surrounds, soda fountains, cast iron stoves and a multitude of other products. The Low Art tile Company produced some of the finest ceramic tiles ever produced in the United States. Between 1878 and 1904 Low tiles were displayed in more than eighteen distributors showrooms around the United States, Canada and Britain. For all of the 1880’s and the early years of the 1890’s the popular Low art tiles sold in large numbers.
John Gardner Low was a painter before he started his tile business, having studied in Paris from 1858 to 1861 with Constant Troyon and Thomas Couture. He was well acquainted with many of the great artists of his time, including Elihu Vedder, Francis Davis Millet, William Rimmer and Childe Hassam.
The story of the Low Company is often told with images which display the wide range of products made by the company.
The talk will provide a window into the artistic world of late 19th century America.
This lecture is part of the Driehaus Museum’s 2014 Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Series, a program which serves to situate the Nickerson Mansion within the context of social artistic developments of the period and against the wider background of America’s Gilded Age.
Doors open at 5 p.m. for any attendees who would like to explore the Museum and its collections. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. As space is limited, advance reservations are highly recommended.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Richard Pennington, a former Boston Globe reference librarian, received his Master of Library Science degree from Simmons College. He and his wife lived in Chelsea from 1992 to 2005, in an 1886 Victorian house with two Low tile fireplace surrounds. He has been intrigued by the subject since 1997, and his research in ongoing. He is the author of the 244 page, full-color book, Low Art Tile – John Gardner Low and the artists of Boston’s Gilded Age.