French ceramics from Boone Collection donated to Huntington, LACMA


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The ceramics collections at the Huntington and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art both just got a little bigger.

Pasadena-based collector and cultural philanthropist MaryLou Boone has donated a total of 53 works of ceramic art to the museums. The Huntington received 27 objects and LACMA received 26, including teapots, potpourris, tabletop sculptures, inkwells, sugar casters, large plates, pitchers, tureens and cups and saucers.


The objects in the donation date from around 1600 to 1900, and were chosen to complement the existing collections at the two museums.

Acquired over the course of more than 25 years, the Boone Collection comprises many treasured ceramic works from various parts of France. It includes works of faïence -- a special kind of earthenware -- as well as soft-paste porcelain and other kinds of ceramic.
In 1998, Boone spoke to The Times on the occasion of an exhibition of highlights from her collection at Scripps College in Claremont. ‘I’m like a convert to a religion,’ she told the Times’ Suzanne Muchnic. ‘I think everybody should collect. It makes traveling so much more interesting to have a focus.’

Boone and her late husband George, a former orthodontist and real-estate investor, have served as trustees for a number of museums and universities. George Boone died in 2008 at the age of 85 after suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

In the past, the couple has given a $3-million donation to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, and founded the Boone Children’s Gallery at LACMA.

The pieces recently donated to the Huntington will go on view in the Huntington Art Gallery in a new room that focused on 18th century France and England.

An exhibition of the Boone Collection is expected to come to LACMA in late 2012.

-- David Ng