Dezeen Magazine

Departed Glory by Wieki Somers

Dutch designer Wieki Somers has created a new vase using a fragment of an old Delftware vase for an exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum contemporary art museum in The Hague.


The vase, called Departed Glory, is based on a traditional Dutch tulip vase and features ceramic casts made from real tulips that are on the verge of dying, hence the title of the piece.


The vase is exhibited in an exhibition called Vases with Spouts: Three Centuries of Splendour, along with new vases created by fellow Dutch designers Ineke Hans and Jurgen Bey.

Full details of the exhibition, which continues until 29 July, below:


The museum for contemporary art Den Hague presents Vases with Spouts: Three Centuries of Splendour

The two best-known Dutch potteries, which have both been making ceramic flower vases for centuries, are De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles (or ‘Royal Delft’) in Delft and Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum (Royal Tichelaar Makkum). The current exhibition includes modern examples produced by both them in imitation of spouted vases of the past. Royal Delft has even been prompted to start producing a tiered globular vase again as an ode to the Delftware of yore. The vase has been produced in a limited edition of 50, with hand-painted decoration by master Delft painter Paul Bartels.

The continuing interest in the tradition of Delft spouted vases is also shown by the modern interpretations of the object by present-day designers like Ineke Hans, Guido Geelen, Hugo Kaagman and Dora Dolz. The exhibition includes, for example, a vase designed by Ineke Hans in 2005/2006 in response to a commission from the Gemeentemuseum and produced as a limited edition by Royal Tichelaar Makkum, as well as a tulip vase designed by her in 1998.

Apart from these modern designs, Jurgen Bey, Ineke Hans and Wieki Somers have each taken a surviving fragment of a vase from the Gemeentemuseum’s collection of Delftware and completed it in his or her own individual way. The result is both an exciting interaction between past and present and an entirely new object d’art.

Design Wieki Somers; Departed Glory
The ceramic process influenced the shape and the decoration of the two elements of the tulip vase. The result shows tulips is the stage of passing away, as departed glory. The fossils of tulips on top of the vase are made by sticking them in foam (oase) and dip it all together in porcelain. In the kiln the natural materials burn away, and the ceramic thin skin is left. The vase of the museum collection (1690) rests on a ceramic pillow, decorated with transfers of handdrawn tulips. Some parts of the drawings are glazed, they faded away and changed color by the hot temperature.

31 March-29 July
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
Stadhouderslaan 41
2517 HV Den Haag