Fiesta’s 75th anniversary marked in W. Va.

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  – The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is celebrating Fiesta dinnerware’s 75th anniversary with an exhibit illustrating the colorful china line’s history. The exhibit, which opened March 31 and runs through June 26, 2011, is entitled “Fiesta: 75th Anniversary, 1936-2011.” It can be viewed at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston.

Collections and exhibits director Charles Morris told the Charleston Daily Mail that the state has an extensive collection of Fiesta dinnerware. It includes plates, mugs, cups, saucers, butter dishes and salt and pepper shakers in more than 40 Fiesta colors that were produced over the years.

Fiesta dinnerware was designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead, one of the world’s most distinguished ceramists, in 1936. It soon became the most successful line of china ever made. As originally designed, the line featured Art Deco styling and bold, bright colors. The product was discontinued in 1973 and reissued in 1986 with new contemporary colors to mark its 50th anniversary.

Fiesta dinnerware maker Homer Laughlin China Co. also provided items for the exhibit.

Learn more about the exhibit at www.wvculture.org, or contact director Charles Morris at 304-558-0220.

Fiesta plates in a rainbow of colors can be viewed at the West Virginia Culture Center, Charleston, W. Va., through June 26. This set of 9-inch Fiesta plates – in 11 different colors – was sold by the Strawser Auction Group (Wolcottville, Ind.) in September 2010. The group sold for $65. Photo courtesy LiveAuctioneers.com.

(The Associated Press and West Virginia Division of Culture and History contributed to this article.)

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