Global Flows: Ceramics from the Permanent Collection

Public reception: Thursday, April 23, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

April 23 - August 07, 2015

The eight graduate and four undergraduate students in the fall 2014 seminar, Global Flows: Ceramics as Art, Craft, and Design, devoted several class sessions to looking, handling, and discussing ceramics from the museum’s permanent collection. They carefully examined the objects, their provenances, and related archival documents preserved at the university. Global Flows: Ceramics from the Permanent Collection shares the results of this research and invites viewers to contemplate the unequivocal connectivity of ceramic objects from around the world.

Visitors to the exhibition will encounter ceramics that reflect global flows of ceramics such as works by Michael Cardew, Ruth Duckworth, Karen Karnes, Paul Matheiu, Ken Price, Cindy Sherman, Peter Voulkos, Betty Woodman, Eva Zeisel, as well as a Pre-Columbian jaguar effigy vessel from Costa Rica, a seventeenth-century Shigaraki jar and a nineteenth-century Sunderland plaque. Juxtapositions of these objects provoke questions such as: Why was the Song standard so widespread and enduring? What intrinsic qualities of porcelain have led both designers and sculptors to particular types of forms and surfaces? How have ceramists embraced, questioned, and rebelled against historical ceramics? Drawing on student research, Global Flows: Ceramics from the Permanent Collection celebrates Alfred’s distinctive material and intellectual resources and encourages new ways of approaching and understanding the history of ceramics.