On September 23 the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum opened what Museum Director Wayne Higby describes as "the Museum's most ambitious exhibition to date," Path of the Teabowl, curated by Meghen Jones, Associate Professor of Art History at Alfred University's School of Art and Design. The exhibit runs through December 29.
On September 28 at 4:30 pm Jones delivered a lecture titled, The Teabowl, in Holmes Auditorium; her lecture was also available on the Zoom platform.
According to Higby, discussion and planning for the exhibition began in 2015, and Path of the Teabowl includes works from the permanent collection of the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, as well as important loans from the collections of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, Marlin and Ginger Miller, Linda Sikora, the Art Complex Museum Duxbury, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
The exhibit traces the development of the teabowl in and beyond Asia and features more than 100 teabowls and related objects from the tenth through the twenty–first century.
According to Jones, teabowls became "an iconic art form" through a history extending a millennium ago in China. "Buddhist monks drank green tea from bowls with brown and black glazes. Later, in Korea and Japan, potters crafted teabowls of increasingly diverse designs, often intentionally asymmetrical. Treasured teabowls, if broken, were repaired with lacquer and gold."
Contemporary artists, she adds, "create teabowls with a range of motivations, from channeling the classics to breaking new ground in form and processes."
Ritual etiquette has guided and dictated ways in which teabowls have been used to prepare and serve tea in East Asia, according to Jones, and Higby notes, "The term 'teabowl' has become synonymous with the concepts and rituals that define one of the most intriguing uses of beverage and object in all of human history."
Funding for the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum's Path of the Teabowl project, which includes the exhibition, a forthcoming catalogue and an online international conference has been provided by the Museum's Schein–Joseph Exhibition Fund and the Robert C. Turner Endowment Fund with additional support from the Levine Endowment, created by Steve, AU'61, and Michiko Levine to encourage and support the interaction of Alfred University and Asian cultures; the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University School of Art Design; and a grant from the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies, in conjunction with the Japan–U.S. Friendship Commission.
The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum's Path of the Teabowl exhibition is on view September 23 to December 29.
Museum hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University houses nearly 8,000 ceramic objects ranging from small pottery shards recovered from ancient civilizations to modern and contemporary ceramic art. The primary mission of Alfred Ceramic Art Museum is to collect, preserve, conserve, research, interpret and exhibit ceramic art for aesthetic and educational purposes. The museum is a research and teaching facility, which offers an engagement in cultural history via ceramic art to the student, artist, scholar and collector as well as the local, national and international community.
Find out what's coming up at Alfred Ceramic Art Museum
The Museum is located on the northeast corner of Main and Pine Streets on the Alfred University campus. View more information on exhibitions or visiting the Museum. Museum membership information is available online, or by contacting Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Membership Office, Alfred University, Alfred, New York 14802. Benefits to members include free admission to the museum, 10% off catalog purchases, a subscription to the annual Museum newsletter, "Ceramophile," and invitations to celebrate special exhibitions and educational programs, and invitations to participate in Museum-sponsored trips. For more information phone 607-871-2421 or email Alfred Ceramic Art Museum.