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January, 11 2010

Next Meeting Thursday, January 28 at 3:30 pm

Enameled 17th century Arita-ware porcelain in the Freer collection

The next meeting of the Washington Oriental Ceramic Group will be Thursday, January 28 at 3:30 pm at the Freer Gallery. Ceramics Curator Louise Cort will discuss her recently installed show “Cornucopia: Ceramics from Southern Japan” while leading us on a tour of this three-room exhibition. For exhibition details see the Freer-Sackler Galley announcement below. Plan to assemble in the Freer foyer, Mall-side entrance, by 3:25 pm. For those interested, after the gallery talk we will move to the Old Ebbitt Grill, 675 15th Street, NW, for fresh oysters and crisp wine, or something else if oysters are not to your taste. The nearest Metro stop to the Old Ebbitt is Metro Center, which is about a five minute walk away. When you RSVP to me, by replying to this email, or or ph. 703 503 3195, please say whether you will be joining us at Old Ebbitt Grill. The Japanese dish above is enameled 17th century Arita-ware porcelain in the Freer collection.

Summary of the December 2009 meeting discussion

Marcia Feinstein of Vintage Interiors II, a Chinese export porcelain and armorials sales gallery in Alexandria, spoke on the impact of 18th and 19th century ceramic exports to the West, illustrated with examples from her collection. Beginning with the Portuguese in the 1500s, and greatly expanding in the 17th-19th centuries, Southern Chinese and later Japanese industrialized potteries produced blue and white and bright overglaze enamel-decorated ceramics for Europe. The shapes were usually western-inspired, such as large dinner sets, creamers and coffee pots. The painted decoration reflected Western themes, often with Chinese-inspired borders. In the late 18th century the high-end American market for Chinese porcelain products took off. Examples of George Washington’s Society of the Cincinnati armorial porcelains are treasured American art objects.

Asian Export Ceramics Exhibition, Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Visit the new Asian export ceramics exhibition with an excellent web catalogue:“Porcelain Routes: Far travels of Chinese Porcelain” at the Princessehof Ceramic Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherlands. Until March 21. To accompany the exhibition the Princessehof has put on-line a most useful catalogue of 120 ceramics from its notable collection of Chinese and Japanese trade ceramics, 15th to the end of the 17th century. Its descriptions are useful and images good. Hopefully this excellent website will remain available thereafter the show closes. For anyone seeking detailed information on export wares of those centuries this website would be useful.; select The Princessehof Collection of Asian Ceramics, then Chinese and Japanese Trade Ceramics.

Cornucopia: Ceramics from Southern Japan

December 19, 2009–January 9, 2011, Freer Gallery of Art

Around the year 1600, a heightened fascination with the design and uses of ceramics, combined with advances in technology, launched an era of extraordinarily diverse and accomplished ceramic production in Japan. The center of this efflorescence was southern Japan, and in particular the island of Kyushu. Hundreds of kilns produced both stoneware coated in muted glazes and porcelain ornamented with cobalt blue or multicolored enamels for the domestic market (with a focus on utensils for dining and for the tea ceremony) and for export to Europe and Southeast Asia. The wide variety of local styles of glazing and decoration invented by Kyushu potters over three centuries is impressive.

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