In the early nineteenth century, printed tablewares formed part of the new media of the age. Together with patterned textiles and wallpapers they assimilated, then disseminated the constructs of landscape imagery making the previously exclusive available to many. Printed tablewares played a significant role in the democratisation of artistic imagery as well as the development of cultural and national identities. Eventually, as newer media forms began to supersede the vitrified print, meaning became diluted, so that the genre eventually reached obsolescence and kitsch.
Today there is a growing interest in this undervalued material from collectors, curators, museologists and contemporary artists who reference and celebrate the genre. The new artwork is international in nature, reflecting the significant cultural impact printed transferwares had as they were produced and exported around the world. Melding historical enquiry with contemporary practice, the book illustrates how artists re-appropriate this historical genre to observe, record, comment and re-animate.