Detail of Andrew Raftery plate

Andrew Raftery: The Autobiography of a Garden

Jan. 18, 2020Jan. 4, 2021
Huntington Art Gallery, Works on Paper Room

American artist Andrew Raftery's series of twelve plates charts the evolution of the garden he planted in Providence, Rhode Island, as it grew and changed over the course of a calendar year. The designs are based on Raftery's drawings and paintings, which were then engraved on a copper sheet and printed onto special decals that he laid on each plate, transferring the image. The technique of transferring a printed image onto ceramic was first developed in England around 1750 and remained popular into the twentieth century. British transfer ware plates often feature landscapes in the center reserve surrounded by intricate decorative borders. Raftery's fascination with these richly detailed objects, which he collects, stems from childhood memories of a table service his family owned. With their attention to pattern and line, his designs echo these historic objects.