American Decorative Arts
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contactRights and Reproductions.
PrevNext2 of 2
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contactRights and Reproductions.
Maker: Ubaldo Vitali, American, born Italy 1944

Centerpiece

1986

Sterling silver, silver-gilt, glass, bleached maple

14 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (36.2 x 46.36 cm)
Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund
2007.181.1
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Containers - Metals
Geography: 
Made in Maplewood, New Jersey
Status: 
On view*
Provenance: 

The design was presented to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as a maquette in wood, plaster, and metal. They found the shape of the central dish to be too much of a cliche for a Texas institution and declined to go ahead with the commission. Within a week of Houston's rejection, the New Jersey silver collectors Iris and Seymour Schwartz commissioned Vitali to fabricate the centerpiece for them. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, ultimately commissioned Vitali to make a tureen.

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions, July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2008): 176.

Nicholas R. Bell et al., History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011, exh. cat. (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2011), 32, 98, fig. 13.

Glen R. Brown, “Ubaldo Vitali: The Lover and the Beloved,” Metalsmith 32, no. 3 (2012): 30, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.