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March 2006 Newsletter

A number of Washington Oriental Ceramic Group events are taking place in the next few months. Mark your calendars. Details will follow as the times get closer.

  1. Receive and wrap session — Saturday, March 25. From 10 am to mid-afternoon at Hedy and David's house in Fairfax, members who are lending objects for the WOCG Members' Exhibition at Towson University's Asian Arts Center will deliver them. Several members have agreed to help carefully receive, photograph, wrap and box the 70-some pieces, which will be picked up by Towson University representatives on Monday, March 27. That is when the TU exhibition insurance starts. More volunteers are needed. During the session sandwiches and teas will be in the kitchen and afterwards champagne will be popped. Driving directions to 4321 Selkirk Drive, Fairfax, will follow separately.
  2. Members' Exhibition at Towson University's Asian Arts Center — Opens Saturday, April 8 at 2 p.m. We will need to organize car pools for that opening. Driving directions and other details will follow.

    Glorious Pots: A Millennium of Southeast Asian Trade — Oriental Ceramics from Maryland, Virginia and Washington Collections

    Asian Arts Galley, Center for the Arts, Towson University, April 8 - May 20, 2006. Guest Curator: David Rehfuss. Lecture: Saturday, April 8, 2 p.m. by Louise Cort, Ceramic Curator, Freer & Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution. Opening Reception: Saturday, April 8, 3-5 p.m.

    "Glorious Pots" tells tales of trade, traders, history, technology, adventure and the search for profits. These pots, sought after because of their utility, treasured for their beauty, fired from as early as the 12th century in kilns in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Burma and Laos, were sold throughout S.E. Asia. In the heyday of the trade, literally millions of ceramics flooded the region and beyond, carried by Southeast Asian, Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern Muslim and, later, European traders. Pots were exchanged for natural products like pepper and other spices, pearls, fabrics and aromatic woods. These elegant old dishes, bowls and jars survived until now largely because they lay buried in graves or rested at the bottom of the sea in the carcasses of sunken trading ships. Most of the pots in this show were acquired in S.E. Asia where their owners, modern-day traders, worked as diplomats or business executives.

    Gallery hours: Monday - Friday 11 am - 4 pm, Saturday, 1 - 4 pm
    Exhibition Web Site

  3. Return of the lent objects to their owners — week of May 22-27, exact date(s) to be determined. The Members' Exhibition at Towson closes on Saturday, May 20. The pieces exhibited will be inspected by WOCG and TU folks, wrapped and then delivered to Hedy and David's house during the week of May 22-27, where owners can retrieve them. Again, details to follow and volunteers will be needed.
  4. Talk on Vietnamese contemporary painting by Professor Nora Taylor — Thursday, May 11, early evening. The WOCG and the Asia Society will co-sponsor a talk on Vietnamese contemporary painting by Professor Nora Taylor. Dr. Taylor, a Research Fellow at the Freer and Sackler, has written extensively on this topical and exciting subject.

February Recap

A report on WOCG's February 8 WOCG "Behind the Scenes" visit to Freer Gallery Storage and Conservation and Scientific Research Departments: this was a treat! We saw paintings being prepared for the upcoming Hokusai show, pots, walls of Whistlers, and the rarely seen biblical manuscript, the Washington Gospels (Codex Washingtonianus) or the Freer Manuscript of the Gospels (late 4th-early 5th century). The manuscripts are written on sheets made of parchment or papyrus and are in codex form, with folded sheets forming leaves like the modern book. The JPEG shows the Codex.