Exhibition title: Global Merchandise – Chinese and Japanese Export Porcelain
Duration: from 22. October 2020
Location: Museum of East Asian Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany
East Asian porcelain, specifically made for consumers abroad was not one of the major fields of interest of the museum founders Adolf and Frieda Fischer. Because their acquisitions were guided by traditional Chinese and Japanese taste, there was little export porcelain in the initial collection. Over the decades, single objects and small sets were frequently added by purchases, donations and permanent loans from the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation, leading to a modest, but delicate selection today, which is now presented in show Global Merchandise – Chinese and Japanese Export Porcelain the course of the rotational change of the permanent display.
Among old school collectors export porcelains were disrespected, they were presumed to be culturally negligible and commercialised, therefore reflected the taste of laymen. This point of view has fundamentally changed: export porcelain is now betrayed as an important piece of evidence for the history of global exchange of culture and commodities.
Exhibitions on export porcelain in China attract hundreds of thousands of visitors. Suddenly, Chinese museums and collectors are buying objects at art auctions which they would not have deigned to look at before. In Japan as well, interest in this topic has grown. Delegations of leading ceramic experts regularly come to Europe to study export porcelain at the former princely collections. In the country of origin, at the most fragments from historical kilns sites and shipwrecks are preserved.
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