Ko-Imari Masterpieces of the 18th Century
This event has ended.
The 17th century saw the advent of Imari ware as Japan’s first domestic porcelain, as well as sweeping technological innovations that carried the craft to its zenith in manufacturing methods. The many superb works made at that time were luxury items that only the upper reaches of society could afford. In the 18th century, however, the market for Imari ware changed and expanded. The kilns now made products for a wider base of users, ranging from luxury ware to more affordable items. On the one hand, there were the great vases and jars made for export, now in even larger sizes, that were so favored by the nobility of Europe for display in their castles and manor homes. But the kilns were now also making products for the domestic market, which expanded during the prosperous Genroku era (1688–1704). These new products include splendid dishes in the Kinrande style, which features rich colors and the lavish use of gold, which were popular with wealthy merchants who would bring them out for use on special occasions. As food culture developed and spread, the kilns also moved into larger-scale production of simpler, useful blue-and-white dishes and bowls. The potters skillfully adjusted their designs and product line to appeal to different users, and to suit the fashions of the times. These changes helped popularize Imari ware, bringing this beautiful porcelainware into the lives of a greater number of people. In this exhibition, we present approximately 80 fine works, ranging from tiny dishes that could fit into the palm of your hand to large vases over 70 cm tall. Some of the pieces you will see are being exhibited in our museum for the first time. As you appreciate and compare the various shapes, designs, and decorative elements, we hope you will make new discoveries, experiencing for yourself the many reasons that 18th century Imari ware has captivated so many people in so many places across so many different times.
from September 15, 2017 to December 20, 2017
Until 20:00 on Friday.