NEW AMERICAN SCENERY, September 13, 2019 – July 11, 2021

Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, Rhode Island



In the early nineteenth century, imported Staffordshire blue-and-white printed transferwares formed part of the new media of their age. Collected at the beginning of the twentieth century as iconic depictions of the early, independent United States, many were later donated to public art museums inspiring a new wave of pictorial wares.

Over the last five years, Paul Scott has been investigating these transferwares as well as the contemporary landscape of the United States. An ongoing dialogue between documentary, historical, travel and artistic research has led to the creation of a new substantive body of artwork, New American Scenery.

In it, Scott references archives, objects, the motives, and thinking of original collectors as well as the post-industrial landscapes of twenty-first century America. The new work deals with issues surrounding globalization, energy generation and consumption, capitalism and immigration, and other legacies of history. The artwork includes antique tablewares re-worked by selective erasure, re-glazing, and the addition of newly printed decals. Others involve the re-use of cut, broken fragments using collage and traditional restoration processes, as well as prints and other works on paper.

Paul Scott is an English artist who lives and works in Cumbria, UK. He appropriates traditional blue and white transferwares to make contemporary artwork for 21st-century audiences. At the same time he commemorates and celebrates a rich, complex historical genre that is inextricably linked to wider visual and political cultures. Alturas Foundation supported the creation of New American Scenery as part of its Artist In Residence program. Other funders included Arts Council England, Ferrin Contemporary and RISD Museum.

New American Scenery is first presented in Raid The Icebox Now
September 13, 2019 – July 11, 2021
Re-opening to the public fall 2020.
RISD Museum, Providence RI

This installation juxtaposes early 19th-century Staffordshire ceramic transferwares drawn from the shelves of the RISD Museum storage with new Cumbrian Blue(s) artworks. Replacing the porcelain works typically on view in the Lucy Truman Aldrich gallery, New American Scenery melds historic printed tablewares, altered antique ceramics, and reclaimed Syracuse China plates with new screenprints to update early transferware subjects for the 21st century.

RISD installation photography by Erik Gould. All other photography by John Polak.

More information HERE.

RISD Raid the Icebox Digital Catalog can be found HERE.

Profile of Paul Scott can be found HERE.

K-12 Virtual Tour can be found HERE.

Click HERE for essay by Jo Dahn, On the Threshold: Paul Scott New American Scenery”.


August 28, 2021 – January 3, 2022. New Dates.
New American Scenery, will be presented in an expanded exhibition at Albany Institute of Art & History,Albany, NY.

Click here to see INDIVIDUAL WORKS.

Click here to learn more about PAUL SCOTT.


Lecture & Tour:
Paul Scott: New American Scenery
presented by The Pottery and Porcelain Club
at RISD, Providence, RI
November 14, 2019 from 10am-12pm.
Free and open to the public.
Link to recorded talk HERE.
More information HERE.

Paul Scott, Artist: New American Scenery, Transferwares for the 21st century
presented by American Ceramic Circle 2019 Symposium
at Old Salem Museum & Gardens/Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts
Winston-Salem, NC
Saturday, November 9, 2019. 9:30 a.m.
Registration required.
More information HERE.

Digital Catalog produced by the Rhode Island School of Design Museum
More information HERE.