Current Exhibition:



Tabletop Stories

A partnership exhibition presented by the International Museum of Dinnerware Design and the Ann Arbor District Library

Exhibition Dates: December 3, 2018 to January 26, 2019  
Hours: Mon. 10am – 9 pm, Tues. – Fri. 9 am – 9 pm, Sat. 9 am – 6 pm, Sun. 12 pm – 6 pm
Location: Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch, Lower Level, 343 South Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

This exhibition pairs memorable stories published as books, operas, and perhaps a restaurant menu, with the notable dinnerware that followed.  Visitors may recognize at least one teapot in the form of Sherlock Holmes; plates, bowls, cups and saucers with Rockwell Kent illustrations from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; and charming dishes celebrating children’s favorite book characters such as Babar and Peter Rabbit.  The exhibit explores the ubiquitous Blue Willow china pattern, marketed by the British as being derived from a Chinese legend. One may also be captivated by depictions of Charles Dickens’ characters from David Copperfield and Martin Chuzzlewit.  There are simply too many stories and dishes to list, but think about the Donner Party, One Thousand and One Nights,The Story of Ping, Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera Yeoman of the Guard, and more surprises. Come for the books, stay for the dinnerware. Come for the dishes, stay for the books.

LINK to Tabletop Stories Page

Upcoming Exhibition:



Third Biennial National Juried Exhibition
presented by the International Museum of Dinnerware Design

An exhibition to showcase the best in contemporary butter accessories for the table created by artists in all media, for the casual to fancy diner. The Butter exhibition is comprised of three complementary components – historic, invitational and juried.

Exhibition dates: April 6 – August 25, 2019
Opening reception Saturday April 6, 2019, 1-4 p.m.
Location: Museum on Main Street
part of the Washtenaw County Historical Society
500 N. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

LINK to Call for Entries page

Recent Exhibitions:

Unapologetic Dinnerware: a brief history of disposable dinnerware

When considering dining in 2018, there is not anything more timely than examining how the current state of single use dinnerware impacts our lives and our environment. In India alone, billions of plastic utensils are discarded annually. This special exhibition traces the history of disposable or single use dinnerware from ancient Mesopotamia to the present. Material culture artifacts of an intentionally “disposable” nature from diverse cultures and time periods, as well as prototypes from contemporary designers in India, Japan, Jordan, Portugal, Germany and the United States will be featured.  Think American TV dinners, Chinese take out, edible cutlery from India, Japanese disposable trainware, plates made of fallen leaves from Indonesia, biodegradable coffee kits from Portugal, beer six-pack rings that may be consumed by marine life, and more.

LINK to Unapologetic Dinnerware exhibition page

Link to University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology Newsletter to learn more about the ancient Mesopotamian bevel-rimmed bowls in this exhibit.

Dining In Dining Out

There were fifteen reasons to visit the International Museum of Dinnerware Design’s special 3-day-only exhibition, Dining In Dining Out. It was a true celebration of dining experiences guaranteed to make the viewer smile. Fifteen dining vignettes were presented free to the public April 13-15, in the beautiful Mid-Century Modern events space, part of the Stone Chalet at 1917 Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor. The free public reception was Friday evening 5:30-7:30 p.m. Each minimalist vignette was a reminder to the viewer of a memorable dining experience.
LINK to Dining In Dining Out page.

Timeless Dinnerware Design

at SOFA Chicago 2017, Navy Pier, November 2-5 2017
LINK to Online Catalogue