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The Century Vase

Decorative Arts and Design

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The Century Vase

Artwork Details


Karl L. Müller (American, born German, 1820-1887), designer
Union Porcelain Works, Greenpoint, New York, 1863-1922, maker




Porcelain with paint and gilt decoration

Accession #



22 1/2 x 12 x 12 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 304


Designed and modeled by Karl L. H. Müller, the Century Vase is one of only two made for display at the Centennial Exhibition commemorating the nation’s one hundredth birthday. The vase’s eclectic decoration includes bison-head handles and a profile of George Washington—a powerful patriotic symbol for many Americans. This monumental piece evokes nostalgia for the past, pride in industrial progress, and optimism for the future.
Union Porcelain Works, the maker of this vase, was the first American firm to successfully apply underglaze polychrome decoration on true, hard-paste porcelain.


Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection