Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics – The Met, New York

Blue & White The MetGlobal by Design: Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection now on world debut display at The Met in New York is sure to gather a crowd. Featuring some sixty exquisite and unusual Chinese ceramics from an exceptional Brazilian private collection, the exhibition focuses on Chinese ceramics arriving in Europe from the late sixteenth to the eighteenth century, highlighting blue and white.

This is a period of global exploration, when sailors from the Portuguese and Spanish courts actively sought a new sea route to access the highly desirable Chinese luxuries faster. They included porcelain, tea, spices and silk. Portuguese rulers were among the first Europeans to commission works from China and are among the rarest works on view in the exhibition. They include pieces with royal designs, such as a flattened bottle with a coat of arms, and yet another with religious imagery.

Kraak PlateThere is a rare example of a kraakdish (ca. 1628–1642) on show, depicting two Persian figures. Believed to have been made for either the Islamic world or Europe, it provides one example of complicated cultural interchanges.

Kraak is the Dutch word probably a corruption of the name for the Portuguese carracks the goods, dubbed kraak ware arrived in One of the most notable was the Portuguese carrack “Catarina’, which was taken by the Dutch off the coast of Malaya. There was much rejoicing in Amsterdam when her cargo of about 100,000 pieces was sold on the docks as the Dutch were seeking to wrestle the trade opportunities away from the Portuguese.

Global by Design BookAnother unusual bowl with pierced decoration and the Islamic profession of faith has European gilt mounts, indicating its fascinating journey from China to the Islamic world and, ultimately on to Europe.

There is a fully illustrated catalogue and continuing education programs will accompany the exhibition,, including gallery talks. On June 5 as part of the Sunday at The Met program, the trade in Chinese ceramics and their continuous and complicated impact on global traditions will be offer, revealing how ceramics became a global luxury, transforming both the European ceramic industry and styles of dining and drinking.

Tile B & WA monumental set of five vessels; produced for display in a European home depicts scenes from West Lake in southern China. Tureens, including a delightful piece in the form of a crab with movable eyes.

There is yet another in the shape of the historical Chinese Buddhist monk Budai, and a third, based on European silver, with lush patterns incorporating Western and Eastern imagery reflect the experimentation of the Chinese porcelain industry during the eighteenth century.

B & W Close UpA close up of any of the items reveals intricate detail, often scenes from daily life.  Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection, The Met New YorkRead More

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