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Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance, 1850–1970

March 13, 2020–July 5, 2020

Friends of Decorative Arts and Design

Press Release | Tickets | Free for members

This dazzling presentation of exceptional silver and mixed-metal wares casts new light on the legacy of Gorham and reflects the industry, artistry, innovation, and technology of the manufactory for 120 years. Adeptly coupling art and industry, Gorham boldly rose from a small firm, established in 1831 in Providence, Rhode Island, to become the largest silver company in the world, placing uniquely American design on the international stage. Creating everything from commissioned presentation pieces to show-stoppers for the dining room, Gorham responded to the era’s desire to celebrate, feast, socialize, honor, and simply enjoy the everyday in style. 


Enjoy Gorham Silver from Home

While this special exhibition currently cannot be viewed in person, we would like our visitors to have the chance to see the vibrant installation through a series of images. 

Click here to browse over 300 images of the exhibition

Continue exploring...

Exhibition checklist with images and labels produced by the RISD Museum

A podcast-like audio experience created by the RISD Museum

Recorded Lectures on Gorham Silver

(Re)tracing the silver seaweed: A Maker’s Process

The Long Road Home: The Gorham Writing Table and Chair

Surprise Endings: Gorham Silver’s Mythologique

Extra Brilliant: Gorham Silver Deposit on Rookwood Pottery

Co-published by the RISD Museum and Rizzoli Electa, Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance is the first major publication on Gorham in over thirty-five years. This volume features insightful essays with fresh scholarship, accompanied by dazzling new photography of Gorham’s silver as well as archival images, design drawings, casting patterns, and company records. Edited and authored by Elizabeth A. Williams, the David and Peggy Rockefeller Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the RISD Museum, the catalogue also includes contributions from Cincinnati Art Museum curator Amy Miller Dehan and scholars Emily Banas, David L. Barquist, Gerald M. Carbone, Jeannine Falino, Catherine L. Futter, Erik Gould, Ingrid A. Neuman, John W. Smith and Holly Snyder.

Available in March 2020 through the Cincinnati Art Museum store, in person or online.

Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850–1970, organized by the RISD Museum, was made possible by a sponsoring grant from the Henry Luce Foundation with additional support from the Zennovation Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the RISD Museum Associates, Textron Inc., the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, friends and members of the Board of Governors, and a generous in-kind gift from Spencer Marks, Ltd.

This exhibition is generously supported by the John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust

Presented by:


Additional support provided by:

 The Sutphin Family Foundation


Media sponsor: | The Cincinnati Enquirer