“That sideboard would be gorgeous,” a decorator once said to me, “with a display of majolica on the wall above it.” What’s majolica?, I wondered. A make-believe country? A magic spell? Turns out it’s both those things—and more. A type of English and American ceramics of the 19th century, colorful and whimsical, majolica reflects the Victorian interest in botany and zoology, the eye-popping cabinet of curiosities. The first exhibition on this subject in almost four decades, “Majolica Mania” includes approximately 350 objects. As a foretaste of the upcoming show, an online presentation, with illustrations, explores themes such as sources and styles, British and American factories, marketing, and majolica in the home. —L.J.
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