Blue and White Ceramics: An Enduring Global Obsession


Blue and White Bottle Vase, Chinese, Ming Dynasty, from the Krannert Art Museum collection
Bottle Vase, China, Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), (detail). Porcelain with enamel. Gift of the Class of 1908. 1966-14-1


On view
Aug 30, 2018

“Blue & White” explores the technological advances, trade networks, and shared aesthetics that sustain a global appetite for blue and-white ceramics.

The exhibition centers on Chinese blue-and-white porcelain, which has been collected and emulated around the world since the Yuan Dynasty, as well as the many ceramic traditions inspired by these wares. Even as new types of decoration were developed over the centuries, blue-and-white never went out of fashion.

Nobles and the well to do in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East collected these wares and sometimes enhanced them with precious metal mounts. Furthermore, in response to these luxurious trade goods, potters around the world attempted to mimic the aesthetic qualities of blue-and-white porcelain, making faience, (such as Delftware) and other ceramics.

The exhibition will include American, Chinese, Dutch, English, German, Swedish, and Turkish ceramics from the Ming Dynasty to the present day.

Curated by Maureen Warren, curator of European and American Art

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Christ after the Flagellation, ca. 1670. Oil on canvas. Gift of Ellnora D. Krannert 1960-4-1
  1. May 13, 2017 to Jun 2, 2018