WINTERTHUR.- The cross-cultural connections between Asia and the West are vividly displayed in the extraordinary exhibition, Made in China: Export Porcelain from the Leo and Doris Hodroff Collection at Winterthur, which chronicles the history of Chinese export porcelain from 1550 to 1850. Premiering at Winterthur on February 26, 2005, this exhibition will be on view until May 15, 2005. It will then travel on to other American venues.
Made in China will showcase approximately 150 pieces of export porcelain drinking, dining and decorative wares recently given or loaned to Winterthur from the Leo and Doris Hodroff Collectionone of the largest and finest private collections of Chinese export porcelain in existence. The exhibition will explain why porcelain, with its fine white body, delicately painted decoration, and association with the exotic lands of Asia, have long delighted and captivated Europeans and Americans.
Doris and Leo Hodroffs collection includes the finer, more elaborate, pieces of Chinese export porcelain ever made. The couples generosity to Winterthur has made it possible for us to mount this visually stunning exhibition with porcelain pieces ranging in size from tiny tea bowls to monumental vases, each a masterpiece of the potters art, said Winterthur director Leslie Greene Bowman.
The exhibition showcases export porcelain from a number of different perspectives and complements other pieces from the Hodroff Collection on permanent view in the Ceramics and Glass Gallery at Winterthur. It is divided into thematic and geographic sections focusing on porcelain as a product of skilled Chinese artisans; as a valuable trade commodity; as an artifact of daily life; and as evidence of cultural interactions between Asia and the West.
The porcelain was designed to suit the needs and tastes of consumers in Europe and America with their Western form and style, while showing the exoticism of China, said Ron Fuchs II, assistant curator of Ceramics for the Leo and Doris Hodroff Collection at Winterthur. At times, Chinese export porcelain was as fashionable as silver tablewares, and almost as expensive.
At the entrance to the exhibition is a pair of dramatic, four-foot tall vases featuring scenes of Chinese nobles hunting on horseback. Made in China in 1720, these enormous, decorative vases are of a type known as soldier vases dating back to 1717 when Augustus the Strong of Saxony traded 600 soldiers from his army for 151 pieces of Chinese porcelain that belonged to Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia.
One of the features of the exhibit is a set of ten watercolor paintings showing the different stages of porcelain production. The exhibit features Western forms such as plates, mugs and candlesticks. Western designs include armorial porcelain decorated with coats of arms for wealthy noblemen; dining and drinking wares showing political events, homage to President George Washington, landscapes and familiar places such as St. Pauls Cathedral in London; as well as whimsical teapots and tureens, religious and mythological themes, and decorative figurines.
Made in China: Export Porcelain from the Leo and Doris Hodroff Collection at Winterthur was made possible through the generous support of Leo and Doris Hodroff.