Attention all pottery enthusiasts! Stay tuned to learn more about how you can “seize the clay” at the upcoming American Belleek webinar.

The Potteries of Trenton Society, the Trenton Historical Society, and the Trenton Museum Society have announced their annual lecture for the POTS 2023 meeting. This year’s speaker, Brian Gallagher, is the Senior Curator of Decorative Arts at the Mint Museum of Art. This year’s annual meeting will occur on Saturday, April 22nd at 1:30pm. This virtual event is free to attend, but advanced registration is required. If you’re interested in attending this fascinating afternoon of conversation, you can RSVP online here: POTS – Eventbrite.

This year’s annual lecture will feature a sneak peek into Brian Gallagher’s upcoming exhibit, “Walter Scott Lenox and American Belleek,” which opens to the public in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 23, 2023. This exhibit features more than eighty works sourced from both the Mint Museum’s expansive collection and notable public and private collections from across the United States. Bob Cunningham, a long-time collector of Trenton ceramics, will join Gallagher. The panel will be moderated by Ellen Denker, author, and president of Denker Consulting Services.

Throughout the conversation, this distinguished panel will enlighten audiences on the history of American Belleek. Belleek is a style of porcelain most noted for its unusually high feldspar content. Due to this distinct characteristic, this porcelain could be molded into elegant, extravagant shapes. This technique originated in Ireland in the 1850s and was popularized amongst U.S. porcelain manufacturers in the 1880s. Ott & Brewer, an American manufacturer rooted in Trenton, was the first to master the Belleek technique under the artistic tutelage of Walter Scott Lenox. Lenox would later open the Ceramic Art Company (later named Lenox) in 1889. Ott and Brewer, alongside Lenox, would be the two most prolific producers of Belleek porcelain in the United States.

Belleek-style tea cup manufactured by Willets Manufacturing Co. of Trenton

Brian Gallagher, the featured panelist, comes to the discussion with quite an impressive resume. Gallagher joined the Mint Museum of Art’s curatorial staff in 2007. Before his tenure at the Mint Museum, Gallagher served as Assistant Curator in the Department of European Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He holds an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Bard Graduate Center, New York. In addition to his vast curatorial experience, Gallagher is an author whose writings have explored the world-famous British ceramics collection housed at the Mint Museum at Art.

Alongside Brian Gallagher are Bob Cunningham, a long-time collector and enthusiast of all Trenton ceramics. Cunningham retired after an impressive 40 years of service at the N.J. Department of Transportation, where he served in the agency’s design, planning, and environmental divisions. What initially began as an interest in the American brilliant cut class quickly expanded to an interest in Lenox, China, and its fascinating history in Trenton. These interests catalyzed continued research, and Cunningham is now well-versed in historic Trenton ceramic companies, with a particular interest in 19th-century Belleek and Parian.

This fascinating conversation is part of the Potteries of Trenton Society’s (POTS) annual meeting. POTS represents the interests of Trenton ceramics enthusiasts throughout the nation. As a city at the center of America’s peak pottery production, Trenton was home to some of the most well-renowned porcelain manufacturers in the country. POTS is integral to keeping this history alive through meaningful educational programming, research resources, and industry-related heritage tourism opportunities. You can read more about POTS and the fascinating history of Trenton pottery by visiting their website here: Home – POTS.

This upcoming lecture will be a fascinating conversation for ceramics enthusiasts and new learners alike. If you want to dive deep into the fascinating world of Trenton glass, this fun, and free event is the perfect place to get started. Any questions before the event may be directed to the POTS team at for additional details. You won’t “Belleek” how much you’ll learn at this captivating seminar, so register today!

Belleek porcelain vase by Willets Mfg. Co.

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