Wesley Anderegg
A Suite of Six Figurative Cups in Four Saucers (detail), ca. 1990
Glazed earthenware, wire, and plastic
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Gail M. and Robert A. Brown
Photography: Jon Bolton

The Art of the Cup: Variations on Cups from RAM’s Collection

January 27 – August 7, 2021

Disposable plastic cups notwithstanding, a cup has historically been defined as a bowl-shaped vessel for drinking, usually outfitted with a handle. While a cup can have social or cultural functions beyond use, such as a trophy or a vessel used within religious ceremonies, its primary historical role has been functional—as a container of liquid. Cups, made of a variety of materials, have been unearthed in archaeological digs throughout the world.

Unlike the teapot, whose functionality and meaning has been challenged or reframed repeatedly, the cup has not been the source of as many philosophical investigations within the field of contemporary craft. This does not mean it has been marginalized or avoided. In fact, handmade cups are ever popular as serving ware and the cup as a subject continues to be an organizing theme for numerous exhibitions in galleries and museums.

Contemporary makers, balancing the traditions of the past with those of the present, create cups that reflect their style and their interests. Drawn from RAM’s collection, this exhibition—with works made of clay, glass, and metal—features contemporary iterations of cup forms, sometimes as multiples within a set. Mugs and goblets are included to offer contrasts and comparisons. There are also examples by those who play with the idea of a cup as a symbolic or metaphoric vessel.

MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Exhibition Notes

Press Room

Artists in the Exhibition

Wesley Anderegg, Robert Arneson, Karl F. Borgeson, Cynthia Bringle, Karen Buhler, Alan Caiger-Smith, Nadeige Choplet, Oliver Doriss, Jack Earl, Lea Embree, Willem Gebben, Katherine Gray, Erik Gronborg, Jon Groth, Melanie Guernsey-Leppla, Dorothy Hafner, Steven Hill, Martha A. Holt, Margaret Ponce Israel, Geo Lastomirsky, Leach Pottery, Zachery Lechtenberg, Robert Levin, Paul Mathieu, Richard Milette, Ron Nagle, Matt Nolen, Donovan Palmquist, Ken Price, Douglass Rankin, ROY, Will Ruggles, Judith Salomon, Michael J. Schunke, Yoko Sekino-Bové, Andy Shaw, Peter Shire, Anna Silver, Judith Strong, Toshiko Takaezu, Akio Takamori, Rosalyn Tyge, Kurt Wallstab, Patti Warashina, Kurt Weiser, John Whitney, and Irina Zaytceva

The Art of the Cup: Variations on Cups from RAM’s Collection

January 27 – August 7, 2021
Wesley Anderegg
A Suite of Six Figurative Cups in Four Saucers (detail), ca. 1990
Glazed earthenware, wire, and plastic
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Gail M. and Robert A. Brown
Photography: Jon Bolton

Disposable plastic cups notwithstanding, a cup has historically been defined as a bowl-shaped vessel for drinking, usually outfitted with a handle. While a cup can have social or cultural functions beyond use, such as a trophy or a vessel used within religious ceremonies, its primary historical role has been functional—as a container of liquid. Cups, made of a variety of materials, have been unearthed in archaeological digs throughout the world.

Unlike the teapot, whose functionality and meaning has been challenged or reframed repeatedly, the cup has not been the source of as many philosophical investigations within the field of contemporary craft. This does not mean it has been marginalized or avoided. In fact, handmade cups are ever popular as serving ware and the cup as a subject continues to be an organizing theme for numerous exhibitions in galleries and museums.

Contemporary makers, balancing the traditions of the past with those of the present, create cups that reflect their style and their interests. Drawn from RAM’s collection, this exhibition—with works made of clay, glass, and metal—features contemporary iterations of cup forms, sometimes as multiples within a set. Mugs and goblets are included to offer contrasts and comparisons. There are also examples by those who play with the idea of a cup as a symbolic or metaphoric vessel.

MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Exhibition Notes

Press Room

Artists in the Exhibition

Wesley Anderegg, Robert Arneson, Karl F. Borgeson, Cynthia Bringle, Karen Buhler, Alan Caiger-Smith, Nadeige Choplet, Oliver Doriss, Jack Earl, Lea Embree, Willem Gebben, Katherine Gray, Erik Gronborg, Jon Groth, Melanie Guernsey-Leppla, Dorothy Hafner, Steven Hill, Martha A. Holt, Margaret Ponce Israel, Geo Lastomirsky, Leach Pottery, Zachery Lechtenberg, Robert Levin, Paul Mathieu, Richard Milette, Ron Nagle, Matt Nolen, Donovan Palmquist, Ken Price, Douglass Rankin, ROY, Will Ruggles, Judith Salomon, Michael J. Schunke, Yoko Sekino-Bové, Andy Shaw, Peter Shire, Anna Silver, Judith Strong, Toshiko Takaezu, Akio Takamori, Rosalyn Tyge, Kurt Wallstab, Patti Warashina, Kurt Weiser, John Whitney, and Irina Zaytceva

Gallery of Work

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

Anonymous
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Windgate Foundation
Wisconsin Department of Administration

Diamond Sponsors

Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation

Gold Sponsors
Anonymous
David Charak
Silver Sponsors
A.C. Buhler Family
Andis Foundation
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Ron and Judith Isascs
Johnson Financial Group
Bill Keland
Dorothy MacVicar
RDK Foundation, Inc.
Bronze Sponsors
Anonymous
Susan Boland
Fredrick and Deborah Ganaway
Tom and Sharon Harty
Andrea and Tony Hauser
The Norbell Foundation
Bill and Mary Walker

Love Art?  You’ll Love RAM!

The mission of the Racine Art Museum is to exhibit, collect, preserve, and educate in the contemporary visual arts. Stay up-to-date about special events as well as support the mission of the largest contemporary craft collection in America:

RECEIVE RAM NEWSLETTERS
BECOME A MEMBER
DONATE NOW