From basalt to charcoal: don’t miss this gallery-sketching time lapse inside the Mint’s ‘Classic Black’ exhibition

Joel Smeltzer, The Mint Museum’s head of school and gallery programs, is also an avid illustrator. And he loves leading groups through the museum’s galleries and special exhibitions, offering suggestions and guidance on how to sketch the objects on view. Here’s a look at his sketch of Josiah Wedgwood’s bust of Alexander the Great inside special exhibition Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries, on view through Aug. 30 at Mint Museum Randolph.

If you weren’t able to visit before the Mint closed its doors for COVID-19, put it at the top of your list for when we re-open. The exhibition—the first ever to focus on the black basalt sculptures of iconic ceramic artist Josiah Wedgwood—breaks all of the molds, featuring more than 18th-century works juxtaposed with wall design by the Charlotte street artist and muralist known as Owl.


Image Caption: Wedgwood and Bentley. “Alexander the Great: Bust,” circa 1779-80, black basalt ware. Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Starr and Wolfe Family, 2018 (2018.889.8)