American Decorative Arts
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Modeler: Karl L. H. Mueller, American, born Germany, 1820–1887
Manufacturer: Union Porcelain Works, American, 1863–ca. 1922

Heathen Chenee Pitcher

1875–85

Porcelain with overglaze painting and gilding

9 5/8 x 5 3/4 in. (24.4 x 14.605 cm) other (with handle): 10 5/8 in.(26.988 cm)
Bequest of Doris M. Brixey, by exchange
1999.77.1
Union Porcelain Works was one of the important ceramic firms in the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century. Pitchers of this form were among their most popular articles. The firm exhibited an example at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The scene of Bill Nye and Ah Sin comes from Bret Harte’s poem “Heathen Chinee,” the subject of which is the discrimination against Chinese laborers who had immigrated to the United States in large numbers.
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Containers - Ceramic
Geography: 
Made in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

From Joe Butler to dealer Joan Bogart

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions, 1999,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2000): 162.

Pier Giovanni Guzzo, Pompeii: Tales From An Eruption, exh. cat. (Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Museum of Art, 2007), 12, ill.

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 290, no. 181, 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.