The Artful Teapot was a successful museum exhibition of the Kamm Teapot Collection that toured North America from 2002 to 2006. Curated by noted ceramics scholar Garth Clark, the exhibition featured over 250 teapots that illustrate the ubiquitous use of the teapot as an art form across cultures and time.
The Artful Teapot was extraordinarily popular and set attendance records at six of the nine museum venues. This successful museum exhibition enjoyed repeat visitation, attracted non-traditional museum audiences and appealed to children and families. Many exhibition visitors returned because there was so much to see, and at each visit, they saw new things. They also brought friends and family along to share their experiences.
The exhibition attracted new audiences. Many visitors to The Artful Teapot had never been to an art museum. However, they were intrigued by the idea of a teapot show. The exhibition also won over men who had grudgingly attended with their wives. Expecting a show of china or tableware, these husbands were amazed by the craftsmanship, materials and imagery of the sculptural teapots. Those that did come for teapots, the “tea people”, comprise a specialty audience of tea enthusiasts. One local tearoom was responsible for hundreds of new visitors due to its publicity of The Artful Teapot.
The exhibition’s fanciful and colorful teapots were most appealing to children. Every host museum had engaging activities and programs for children and families, including a treasure hunt-style Family Activity Guide. The Montgomery Museum in Alabama held a drawing contest in the local schools called “The Improbable Teapot.” The winning artworks were displayed at the museum, and the artists and their families were special guests at the opening reception of The Artful Teapot. Throughout its tour, The Artful Teapot was a favorite outing for grandparents and their grandchildren.