Sugar bowl with lid, part of a three-piece tea set

1956–57
Alexandra Solowij Watkins (American (born in Poland), born in 1933)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

Overall: 8.3 x 13.3 x 8.9 x 5.7 cm (3 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 3 1/2 x 2 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

2004.203.2ab

Medium or Technique

Silver

On View

The 1940s and 1950s (Gallery 336)

Collections

Americas, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The raised round sugar bowl rests on a simple circular base. It has two handles and a silver finial.


Alexandra Solowij Watkns was born in Poland in 1933 and arrived at the SMFA in the mid 1950s, after training in Montreal. She designed and made this tea set and a chocolate pot as part of her studies at the museum. Although after graduation, Watkins, as a foreign student, had to return to Montreal, the tea set was exhibited at the school and attracted the attention of an executive at Gorham. The company hired her as a designer and provided the necessary immigration papers.
As a designer for Gorham, Watkins was one of several artist-craftspeople, including John Prip and Mary Ann Scherr, who collaborated with the company designers to create modernist objects for mass consumption. One of her designs was s silver plated “bateau” centerpiece (2004.205) produced in 1959-60. Watkins became an American citizen and later focused on jewelry, represented in the Museum’s collection by a brooch (1005.749). Since 1968, she has been affiliated with the Atelier Janiye gallery in Boston as a jeweler and, since 1982, as a co-owner.
This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.

Inscription

None.

Markings

STERLING
A. SOLOWIJ
ENTIRELY HAND / WROUGHT
all struck incuse on underside

Provenance

2004, given by the artist to the Museum.

Credit Line

Gift of Miwa A. Watkins

Copyright

Reproduced with permission.