Birdwatchers are in for a treat at the new Flights of Fancy · Birdwatching in Porcelain exhibition at the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts in Dania Beach. Beautiful studies of American birds in their natural habitats were portrayed in fine china by Dorothy Doughty at the Royal Worcester factory in England. From the 1930s onwards, her work dominated the American collectibles market until Edward Marshall Boehm became this country’s leading exponent of avian porcelain art during the 1950s.
Boehm built an aviary and bred rare exotic species at his New Jersey studio, where he modeled a succession of bird sculptures in his unique porcelain body. His wife, Helen continued to promote Edward’s work long after his early death in 1970. Boehm porcelain birds were presented to international leaders and foreign dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II and Mao Tse-Tung. Boehm became an invaluable American icon for princes and presidents from Eisenhower onwards. Helen once said, “Edward made the birds but I made them fly.”
Flights of Fancy · Birdwatching in Porcelain opens at the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts on November 11.