When does furniture become art?

James Zemaitis: I think a piece of furniture becomes a piece of art in two ways. One, when the market dictates it because of its value. Two, in the way that you display it. And thus, I continue to this day to be a huge fan of dinnerware and china produced by Russell Wright – you know one of our great, modern industrial designers who produced billions and billions of pieces of ceramic dinnerware for the masses during the Depression era. And I look at a simple butter dish that there was probably two million of this butter dish in this specific glaze produced by Wright and manufactured in Steubenville, Ohio in the ‘30s. And I look at that butter dish. I look at the water pitcher. I look at the casserole from this, and I can put that, you know, on a shelf by itself. And it’s just the curves, the lines; that just elegant feel to it, it’s art. It’s absolutely art. But it’s also dishwasher friendly.

Recorded on: 1/30/08

When the market says so.

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