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American Decorative Arts
Designer: Robert Venturi, American, 1925–2018
Manufacturer: Reed and Barton, American, founded 1840
Retailer: Swid Powell, American, 1982–2001

Carving Set

Introduced 1989

Silver plate

Knife: 12 3/4 in. (32.385 cm)
Swid Powell Collection, Gift of Nan Swid

Swid Powell partnered with the esteemed silver manufacturer Reed & Barton to produce flatware and serving pieces. This silver plate carving set was designed for Swid Powell by the husband-and-wife architecture team of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. It is a playful adaptation of the classical orders: when inverted each element becomes a column surmounted by a Doric or Ionic capital. In the associated stainless steel flatware set (2011.200.15.1–.5), the knife is also an Ionic capital, while the forks terminate in Corinthian capitals. This typically postmodern appropriation literally turns the language of classical architecture on its head.

Designed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
On view*
20th century

Swid Powell, New York, by 2001; Nan G. Swid, New York, 2001–2011; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2011

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.