Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Modernism in Action: The Russel & Mary Wright Design Gallery at Manitoga

Allison Cross, Executive Director, Manitoga

Opened in May 2021, the award-winning Russel & Mary Wright Design Gallery at Manitoga tells the story of how the Wrights shaped modern American lifestyle – from early experiments in spun aluminum in the 1930s and the colorful rounded forms of American Modern and Iroquois Casual mix & match dinnerware to Japanese inspired patterns and textures decades later. Former bedrooms-turned-offices were transformed into a state-of-the art exhibition space physically connected to the interpretive rooms of the historic House and to an exterior terrace with stunning views of the Quarry Pool, dramatic stone ridge, and rising woodland landscape beyond. The display of over 200 objects is the only permanent, in-depth public exhibition of the Wrights’ product designs anywhere.

You may register for the free virtual presentation here, and we will send you a link the afternoon of the event.

The link to join the event will also be posted at the Ann Arbor District Library website ( about 15 minutes before the event.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Glidden Pottery: unique stoneware for the Mid-Century table

Margaret Carney

Glidden Pottery is a unique stoneware-bodied dinnerware and Artware that was produced in Alfred, New York from 1940 to 1957. Glidden Pottery utilized modern production methods of slipcasting or ram pressing, but each of the more than 300 shapes was individually glazed and hand-decorated. Glidden Parker was the genius behind the success of Glidden Pottery. Part of his genius was his designs and glazes, but additionally he knew to bring in other designers and glaze experts such as Fong Chow, Sergio Dello Strologo, Katherine Nelson, Marion Fosdick, Philip Secrest, Pat Parker, Fred Press, and others. Glidden Pottery was a commercial success. The designs won numerous awards including his patented trigger handle cup being selected for the Museum of Modern Art /Merchandise Mart of Chicago Good Design show. This presentation will highlight the rich history and inspirational Glidden Pottery designs, glazes, and decorations.
Margaret Carney is a ceramic historian with a Ph.D. in Asian art history, with a specialization in Chinese ceramics. She has taught the history of world ceramics at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and elsewhere; curated numerous exhibitions; presented lectures worldwide; and authored articles, catalogues and books about ceramics. She is the founding director of the International Museum of Dinnerware Design.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

David MacDonald Pottery

Recent Events:

Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Tour of Fishs Eddy’s Museum of American-made Restaurant-ware

Julie Gaines

This tour is a walk-through of the collection of restaurant-ware dating back to the turn of the century. You’ll see everything from corporate china used by a watch maker and dishes used by the United States military, to creamers, mugs, and butter pats made exclusively for famous restaurants all over the country. And, you’ll get a sense of the heart and the soul that went into their production. 

Julie Gaines is the founder of a well-known tableware shop called Fishs Eddy. What started as a chance find in the sub basements of New York City’s Bowery has evolved into a landmark destination, near Union Square in New York City. Fishs Eddy proudly remains a small business driven by the labor of love for over 37 years.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

A Dinnerware Collector’s Journey

Scott Vermillion

Collector Scott Vermillion takes on a curated tour of his extensive collection of Art Deco and Mid-Century dinnerware, sharing how he started collecting and how design and history motivates his passion to collect.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Insect Foods: Back to the Future?

Gina Louise Hunter, Ph.D.

From ants and beetles to termites and true bugs — such is the vast range of insects that people collected and farmed for food.  In this talk, Dr. Hunter discusses the role of insects in human foodways past and present using examples from across the globe.  She also assesses the potential of insects for sustainable food and feed into the future.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Degenerate dinnerware: shape and decoration

Rolf Achilles

Rolf Achilles is an independent art and architecture historian who collects and researches German mass-produced airbrushed ceramics, textiles, and wallpapers created between 1928-1938.  In 1936, they were classified by German law, along with paintings, sculptures, books, and music as degenerate and illegal.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Contemporary Black American Ceramic Artists with donald a clark and Chotsani Elaine Dean 

With the goal of giving the artists the recognition long overdue them, donald a clark and Chotsani Elaine Dean will take us through their experience of creating their book that shares compelling interviews with 38 of today’s Black ceramists revealing a diversity of studio practices and ways of working with clay.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

How “Dish Night” at the Movies Giveaways Saved Hollywood in the Great Depression 

Kathy Fuller-Seeley 

Movie attendance plummeted during the Hard Times of the 1930s. Savvy marketers at Salem China and other potteries sold theater managers on the idea of giving away free dishes to women to attract viewers. “Dish Night” promotions were wildly successful. Salem sold train cars full of their now-famous Tricorne pattern to theaters. “Free to each lady” offers brought colorful dinnerware into Depression era homes, controversy to the movie business, and even riots when too many gravy boats appeared. Professor Kathy Fuller-Seeley explores this story through historic images and photos from the Salem archives and her research into Hollywood history. 

Kathy Fuller-Seeley is Professor of film history at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Unforgettable Dinnerware on-line Lecture Series – Fall 2022

Wednesday December 14, 2022, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Saenger Porcelain

Peter Saenger

The Saenger Porcelain tabletop designs grew organically from the designer’s exploration of the ceramic casting process. He will cover highlights of the journey during his studio presentation.

Peter and Peg Saenger have sustained a marriage and a very small scale ceramic design and production studio since the Nixon administration.  Their work has been widely collected from the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, California to the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: the Next Generation. 

Wednesday November 9, 2022, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

A Place at the Table:  Heath Ceramics and the Legacy of Edith Heath

Julie Muñis

Merging handcrafting techniques with industrial production, Edith Heath helped pioneer a new era for American dinnerware. Her inventive approach to production and design allowed Heath Ceramics to produce tableware that reflected California’s unique landscape and lifestyle. Still in operation nearly 20 years after her death, Heath Ceramics continues to be a leader and innovator, creating coveted ceramic dinnerware and tile for design-forward consumers. Heath Ceramic’s Archivist and Curator Julie Muñiz explores this legacy through historic images and photos from the company’s archive, as well as shares her insights into the Heath Ceramic collection at IMoDD.    

Julie Muñiz is the Archivist and Curator of the Heath Historical Collection.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 6:30 p.m Eastern Time

Plastic Dishes on the Table: America’s Love Affair with Melamine in the Mid-20th Century

Margaret Carney

An overview of melamine dinnerware from 1939 through the 1960s. Margaret Carney shared some of Christopher McPherson’s research into melamine dinnerware along with pieces of melamine dinnerware from the collection of the International Museum of Dinnerware Design.

IMoDD director Margaret Carney shared stories of delicious exhibitions. interweaving culinary delights along the way is this October 9, 2022 program for the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor.

A Perfect Pairing of Cookbooks and Dinnerware

Tuesday, September 13, 2022
4:00–5:00 pm Eastern Time
Link to Video:
Join curators Juli McLoone and Margaret Carney, Ph.D. discuss A Perfect Pairing of Cookbooks and Dinnerware, the current Audubon Room exhibit at the University of Michigan Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, which pairs cookbooks from the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive with dinnerware from the International Museum of Dinnerware Design. 
The exhibition is open daily from 9-6; Fridays 9-4, Saturdays 11-5 and Sundays 1-6 until September 29, 2022 at University of Michigan Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, 913 South University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. You may also visit the exhibition webpage [link].

IMoDD’s Unforgettable Dinnerware On-Line Lecture Series

Wednesday September 14, 2022, 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Mid-Century Modern Dinnerware

Michael E. Pratt

The presentation will include a photographic tour of select pieces from his collection with commentary based on extensive research.

Michael Pratt is an avid collector and the author of three books on American Mid-Century Modern Dinnerware by Schiffer Publishing.

A video on this event is available on YouTube:

Left: Marion Dorn (1896-1964), Horse Show cloth by Simtex, 1950s, Cotton blend, set with Russel Wright for Sterling China, 1950s.
Right: Ruth Reeves (1892-1966), Guatemalan-inspired Lavista cloth, circa 1935, set with Frankoma Pottery; the Woodland Moss glaze indicates production in the 1960s or 70s.

Setting the Standard for Setting the Table: Modern Women Textile Designers.  

The fourth presentation in our Unforgettable Dinnerware virtual lecture series
Lindsay Pracht and Gregory Spinner
June 8, 2022, 6:30 pm Eastern Time

Two collectors of modern dinnerware share some of their favorite tablecloths, featuring designs by Marguerita Mergentime, Ruth Reeves, Marion Dorn, Dororthy Liebes, and Mary Wright. These women, working at the top tier of industrial design during the first half of the 20th century, brought modern sensibilities to a deep appreciation of traditional textile arts. Pracht and Spinner will weave together biographical and historical information with vivid photos of colorful tablescapes.

Lindsay Pracht is an art historian turned corporate communication executive. She collects the designs of Russel and Mary Wright, and likes to squint when she walks by locations of long-lost New York City restaurants to imagine what dining there was like.

Gregory Spinner teaches at Skidmore College, where he has curated exhibitions at the Frances Young Tang Museum. He collects a variety of mid-century modern dinnerware, which he complements with vintage textiles and fresh-from-the-garden home cooking. 

A video of this event is available on YouTube.

If you are interested in vintage tablecloths, you might be interested in

Photo by Maggie Hamilton

The Unforgettable Dinnerware of Julia Galloway, with a focus on her endangered species series.

Potter and educator Julia Galloway presents the third presentation in our Unforgettable Dinnerware virtual lecture series, virtually from Montana
May 11, 2022  6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

A virtual visit to Julia Galloway’s studio where the potter will share through conversation and demonstration how she makes dinnerware from beginning to end. This includes idea development and research, things to consider when designing dinnerware, the making process and surface decoration. There will be a live question and answer period at the end of the presentation.  Currently Julia’s pottery is inspired by the growing list of endangered species in the United States.

A video of this event is available on YouTube.

courtesy TalismanPHOTO

Eva Zeisel: an unforgettable designer, an unforgettable life
presented by Jean Zeisel Richards as part of the IMoDD Unforgettable Dinnerware lecture series

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Jean Richards, Eva’s daughter, in a conversation with collector Scott Vermillion, will describe Eva’s life and career, its highlights and low points (such as 16 months in a Stalinist prison), and what it was like growing up with this remarkable, adventurous woman, who believed that everyone can appreciate beauty, and aimed to give it to them. Part of the International Museum of Dinnerware Design’s “Unforgettable Dinnerware” lecture series hosted by the Ann Arbor District Library.

A video of this event is available on YouTube.  This version has been updated to include the introduction.

Unforgettable Dinnerware: a behind-the-scenes tour of the International Museum of Dinnerware Design with museum curator Margaret Carney

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Curator Margaret Carney will share a few stories about pieces in the museum’s collection during this inaugural presentation in the museum’s on-line lecture series.  Be prepared to be bedazzled by some special dinnerware sets and witness unique design solutions to the question of what utensils to use when dining with the Queen or at Dairy Queen.  While you won’t learn any etiquette during this presentation, you will learn why you might want a Geiger Counter at your dining table.  Upcoming sessions will invite you to visit private collections, learn about dinnerware designers and contemporary artists, and hear from researchers and authors on major potteries and Mid-Century Modern dinnerware.