Off-Site Materials Lab Workshop: Hands-On Silverworking Demonstration


Friday, November 2, 2018, 2:00pm to 3:45pm


Harvard Ceramic Program, 224 Western Avenue, Allston MA

Join the Materials Lab in Allston for a special off-site workshop offered in conjunction with our special exhibition Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with Gods, Heroes, and Kings (on view September 7, 2018 through January 6, 2019).

The exhibition brings together nearly 60 elaborate vessels of animal shape and offers a glimpse into the rich symbolism and communal practices that found expression at the gatherings in which they were used. Presenting a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary examination of how these objects spanned geography and time, Animal-Shaped Vessels vividly illustrates how shapes, ideas, and artistic forms and conventions have traveled across three continents and over three millennia. 
Some of the most elaborate vessels in the exhibition have been crafted in silver. Silversmith Adam Whitney continues this tradition through the manufacture of his own highly imaginative containers using traditional techniques. He makes functional and heirloom objects, including a series of whimsical sea monster stirrup cups. Whitney’s work is informed by the diverse cultures, customs, designs, and broad range of processes that he encountered on his travels through Southeast Asia and India. 
In this workshop, Whitney will demonstrate how to form vessels from sheet metal using the age-old techniques of raising and chasing, which can be observed in select silver pieces featured in the exhibition. Participants will be invited to take part in the process at different stages.
This hands-on demonstration is organized in conjunction with the symposium Between Art and Asset: Silver Vessels from Antiquity to Today, which will take place at the Harvard Art Museums on Saturday, November 3.

The workshop will be hosted off-site at the Harvard Ceramics Program, 224 Western Avenue, Allston. For directions, please visit the Ceramics Program website.

$15 materials fee. Registration is required and space is limited. Participants must pay materials fee to confirm registration. Please email, stop by the museums’ admissions desk, or call 617-495-1440 to register. Minimum age of 14.

Support for this program—as well as crucial support for the Animal-Shaped Vessels exhibition—has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. In addition, the Harvard Art Museums are deeply grateful to the anonymous donor of a gift in memory of Melvin R. Seiden and to Malcolm H. Wiener (Harvard A.B. ’57, J.D. ’63) and Michael and Helen Lehmann for enabling us to mount this exhibition and to pursue the related research. This work was also made possible in part by the David M. Robinson Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Publication Funds, including the Henry P. McIlhenny Fund; and the M. Victor Leventritt Fund, which brings outstanding scholars of the history and theory of art to the Harvard and Greater Boston communities through the generosity of the wife, children, and friends of the late M. Victor Leventritt, Harvard Class of 1935.

Share your experience of this program and the exhibition via social media with the hashtag #partyanimals, and tag us with #HarvardArtMuseums.