For Students

Past Exhibitions: 2006

Silk Road to Clipper Ship: Trade, Changing Markets, and East Asian Ceramics

November 19, 2005–May 14, 2006

Charger, China, Qing dynasty (1644-1722)

Charger, China
Qing dynasty (1644-1722)
Kangxi era (1662-1722)
porcelain with underglaze blue painting
Gift of the William T. and Dora G. Hunter Collection

Throughout recorded history, the technical and material superiority of Chinese ceramics made them prized commodities, at home and abroad. Many critics, both inside and outside China, mistakenly believe that this magnificent tradition developed in splendid isolation. This special exhibition illustrates the important role of foreign trade and changing domestic markets in stimulating Chinese potters—and their counterparts in Korea and Japan-to continually reinvent their repertoire of shapes and decorative techniques, and in the process illuminates fascinating episodes in cultural history. The exhibition highlights and places in historical context an important recent gift of East Asian porcelains from the late William T. and Dora G. Hunter. Laurie Barnes, a nationally recognized scholar of Chinese ceramics, is guest curator for the project.

This exhibition is made possible in part by Mary Palmer and the University of Michigan’s Center for Chinese Studies.