From China to Europe
AUTHOR: Gates, Mimi Gardner and Emerson, Julie
PUBLISHER: Seattle Art Museum
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Today the presence of porcelain—the thin, white-bodied, ceramic ware that resonates when tapped—is everywhere in our daily lives. Such familiarity, however, has not always been the case. What has been lost with time is the awareness that for centuries porcelain was a rare, treasured material produced exclusively in China. Porcelain Stories: From China to Europe explores the beginnings of porcelain in sixth-century China, follows its development as a trade commodity in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, and recaptures the passion for porcelain that swept Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Featuring more than 200 color illustrations, the book traces the global impact of porcelain, following its technological, aesthetic, and commercial evolution over 12 centuries. The book intertwines multiple narratives that place the objects in context of time and culture, framing the discussion around important examples drawn from the Asian and European porcelain collections of the Seattle Art Museum.
Porcelain Stories demonstrates porcelain’s versatility in objects ranging from monumental vases to tiny tea bowls. Cross-cultural influences of design and ornament favored by emperors and kings are considered as are those of specific factories and the singular designs of individual artists.
Julie Emerson is the Ruth J. Nutt Curator of Decorative Arts at the Seattle Art Museum. Jennifer Chen is an independent researcher in the field of Chinese art history. Mimi Gardner Gates is the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director of the Seattle Art Museum.
PUBLICATION DATE: 1/1/2000