The Art of High Chair Fine Dining


On view at the Ladies’ Literary Club, 218 N. Washington Street, Ypsilanti, MI, from September 2 -29, 2014.  Open daily from 11am to 4pm.

The special exhibition The Art of High Chair Fine Dining offers three perspectives on how babies and small children dined in the past and how they could dine in the future. Although there has been dinnerware for thousands of years, and babies and museums for a long time, this is possibly the first exhibition of its type featuring dinnerware created specifically for the high chair or booster chair diner.

Vintage Dinnerware.  The exhibition is both historic and contemporary in character.  Historical and vintage baby food warmers, dish sets, cups, and implements are displayed.  Materials represented in the exhibition include work created from ceramic, metal, plastic, paper, vinyl, and glass. Some of the leading designers of the 20th century are represented as well as some items that can best be described as "fun" or "kitsch."  Some of the work is beautiful, some of it involves great design and some vintage dish decorative motifs might be considered “politically incorrect” by 2014 standards.

Invited Artists. The contemporary portion of the exhibition includes work by leading contemporary artists in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, who were invited to exhibit their own baby ware creations for this special exhibition. These notable artists have created baby place settings, tea sets, cups and bowls, as well as thought-provoking sculpture relating to babies and their dining implements. 

Juried Exhibition. The third portion of the exhibition is an open juried section, where artist Marie Woo selected work in clay, paper, and fiber created by artists who applied to participate.  Juried participants sent work from Michigan, Massachusetts, California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, and Connecticut.   Award winners selected by the juror are Andrée Valley (first prize), Stephanie Osser (second prize), and Susan O’Connor (honorable mention).  “Jiffy” mixes of Chelsea Milling Company provided a cash award and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses generously donated a Zingerman’s Mail Order Gift Card.