Christopher Dresser, ‘Vase’, about 1888, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Indianapolis Museum of Art Accession Number: 2011.276, Indianapolis Museum of Art Object Type: Containers, Manufacturer: Benham & Froud

Image rights: Public domain / Image provided by Indianapolis Museum of Art

Manufacturer: James Couper and Sons

Gift of Martin Filler and Rosemarie H. Bletter

About Christopher Dresser

Praised as Britain’s first independent industrial designer, Christopher Dresser forged his own language of design, known for a modern style suited for mass availability. Dresser began studying at the industrial level Government School of Design in London at age 13, graduating from student to teacher in less than ten years, during which time he focused his coursework on botany and design. Inspired to transcend the confines of Western art, Dresser attended the 1876 World Exhibition in Philadelphia and subsequently traveled to Japan on a trip that had a formative effect on his aesthetic. Dresser developed the belief that regardless of financial status, all should be entitled to beautiful surroundings, and aimed to produce goods that linked high quality with mass production, such as textiles, furniture, glass, ceramics, wallpaper, and metalware (including an extensive array of playful and innovative toast racks.)

British, 1834-1904, Glasgow, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom