The Currency of Taste

The Gibbons Georgian Silver Collection of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

Kristen Miller Zohn

Casebound with jacket
9.5 by 11.00
136 pages

Designed and produced for the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art
by Nathan W. Moehlmann, Goosepen Studio & Press

Today, most people associate the collecting of silver with coins and currency. However, lovers of the decorative arts enthusiastically acquire silver vessels and flatware to enjoy them aesthetically and to demonstrate their own good taste. Such was the case for the late Harriet and Thomas Gibbons, whose passion for silver resulted in an admirable and well-focused collection of British silver luxury goods of the Georgian era. This period in British history is regarded by many as the pinnacle of elegance and refinement in art and architecture, and it produced some of the finest silver and other decorative arts ever made. In order to live in polite society, a Georgian needed to possess “taste,” or the ability to recognize and appreciate beauty and excellence, which they showed off with expensive possessions such as silver objects. Moreover, the gustatory pleasures of the beverages and foodstuffs involved in sumptuous Georgian meals were enhanced by the visual beauty of these objects.

Harriet and Thomas Gibbons donated over one hundred silver objects to the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in their hometown of  Laurel, Mississippi. The Museum’s collection includes works by the best-known silversmiths of the Georgian age, including Hester Bateman, Paul de Lamerie, and Paul Storr. The Currency of Taste explores silver implements associated with dining, drinking, and luxury from the exquisite collection of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art to offer insight into the production, use, and aesthetics of Georgian silver.