Independent Scholar, Curator and Consultant
One of These Things Is Not Like The Other: Chinese Export Ceramics ~ Influences & Implications
Monday, October 10, 2022
Sponsored by Marilyn Chou
Ox-head Tureen, China, ca. 1760, 54.5 cm H, Peabody Essex Museum, Copeland Collection, AE85851
Since the first introduction of Chinese ceramics to Western markets, there have been a number of responses: an infatuation that led to collecting and admirable attempts to imitate the Chinese; a panicked effort to recapture lost markets by European potters; and an effort to replicate the Chinese as closely as possible in an attempt to imply one had the real thing when one couldn't afford the real thing. Most of these stories are well-told, and by now we recognize and admire copies in their own right and celebrate the influences that led to their creation. However, not everyone has recognized, accepted, or is comfortable with admitting differences that continue to create issues of originality. The ongoing implications are examined using recent research into specific Chinese porcelains and their European counterparts as examples.
William R. Sargent is an independent curator; Senior Consultant in Chinese Art, Bonhams (NY); Museum Expert Adviser (Historical Pictures) Hong Kong Museum of Art; and former H. A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum. He has given over 260 lectures around the world, consulted with 29 museums in Asia, Europe, and America, and contributed 46 chapters and articles for publication including for Chinese Ceramics: Neolithic to Qing (Yale University Press, 2014). His publications include Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics at the Peabody Essex Museum (2012, winner of The American Ceramic Circle Book of the Year Award (2013)), Chinese Porcelain in The Conde Collection (2013), Chinese Porcelain in The Conde Collection (2016), The Copeland Collection: Chinese and Japanese Ceramic Figures (1991) and Views of the Pearl River Delta (1996).
Boar head tureen, Kiel factor, Denmark, 1765-1775 Earthenware, 11.6 in. H., Winterthur Museum, 1996.0004.242 A,B