International Arts & Artists (IA&A) is pleased to announce a new traveling exhibition, Fire and Earth: Early Chinese Pottery, organized in partnership with the MacLean Collection of Asian Art.
Endowed with rich deposits of earth and clay, China claims one of the oldest and most exalted traditions of ceramic production in the world. Historically, pottery has long been an integral part of everyday life and burial practice in China. With its ever-evolving cultivation of new materials, kiln technologies, and glazing techniques, Chinese pottery has developed over thousands of years into one of the most significant and innovative of global art forms.
Featuring forty-two works from the MacLean Collection of Asian Art, Fire and Earth introduces new provocative scholarship on the archaeological pottery of China’s Neolithic Period (ca. 10,000–2000 BCE) through the Tang Dynasty (618-906 CE). This stunning exhibition of rarely-seen vessels and mingqi (burial objects) illuminates the regional differences of these lesser known (and under-researched) marvels of Chinese pottery, while documenting the crucial shifts in tomb architecture and firing techniques that influenced their creation.
“It is the extraordinary quality, durability, and magnificence of form that have brought these Chinese objects together in the MacLean Collection, and it is our hope that they serve to inform and inspire others through this international tour,” says Richard A. Pegg, Director and Curator of Asian Art at the MacLean Collection. “Together, earthenware, proto-porcelain, and stoneware represent some of the great strengths of the ceramics collection in the MacLean Collection. These objects are not only of endless interest today, they also provide fundamental material for us to better understand ancient Chinese society.”
Fire and Earth will tour both nationally and internationally from January 2022 through December 2024. Visitors will encounter over three-thousand years of Chinese pottery drawn from the renowned collection, and enjoy a unique opportunity to glimpse into the fascinating daily life and afterlife practices of early China. These everyday vessels and funerary objects reveal a consummate mastery of technique, sophistication of form, and unparalleled creativity.
Curated by Richard A. Pegg, Director and Curator of Asian Art at the MacLean Collection, and Dr. Tongyun Yin, Curator of Asian Art at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, the exhibition will be accompanied by a 224-page, illustrated catalogue with photography by Bruce White, original maps by Andrew J. Reading, drawings by Yayu Chen, and essays by Dr. Tongyun Yin and Beijing University’s Dr. Wei Zheng.
“IA&A is proud to partner with the MacLean Collection of Asian Art to tour an exquisite selection of rare and fascinating Chinese pottery from their esteemed collection,” says Edward Hayes, Director of IA&A’s Traveling Exhibition Service. “The Fire and Earth exhibition tour brings to light the collection’s groundbreaking scholarship, and aims to make the beauty, craft, and ingenuity of ancient, non-Western pottery traditions accessible to audiences across the US and internationally.”
Fire and Earth continues IA&A’s longstanding tradition of touring exceptional collections of Asian art and adds to the 730+ exhibition presentations organized by IA&A across the US and abroad. IA&A manages 20+ traveling art exhibitions each year, working in partnership with museums and cultural institutions of varying size and scope, both nationally and internationally.
For more information about Fire and Earth: Early Chinese Pottery, visit ArtsandArtists.org/tes
(via International Arts & Artists. Photo: Watch Tower, Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), Glazed earthenware, 40 ⅛ x 14 ⅛ x 14 ⅛ inches, Courtesy of The MacLean Collection, Photograph by Bruce M. White, 2017.)