Qing Dynasty, 1644–1911/12

China

Brush Washer: Zhi-Long Dragon, 18th century

Porcelain with celadon glaze

2 1/2 x 4 1/4 diameter 

Gift of F. Karel Wiest, 1982.328

Clay Through Time: Ancient to Contemporary Ceramics

April 23, 2016 - October 30, 2016

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

Ceramic art is one of the oldest human activities, shedding light on the cultures where it was made and revealing technological and artistic achievements. Whether molded into a simple bowl or transformed into an ornate figure, clay is one of the basic artistic materials used in nearly all regions of the world. After the discovery that fire could transform soft, malleable clay into hard, durable objects, the art of ceramics was born.

Ceramics are one of the most technically challenging forms of art. The modeling methods are vast, the glazes are complex, and the firing processes are precise. Unlike a painting where forms develop with each brushstroke, the outcome of ceramic art is not immediate. It is only at the end, after the firing is compete, when the final result is revealed.

The FIA has a diverse collection of nearly 900 ceramic objects that include everything from Chinese Neolithic vessels to works by contemporary artists.Clay Through Time will feature about 50 objects and explores the many styles and functions of ceramic art, as well as various forming, glazing, and firing techniques.