LECTURES

A BLUE AND WHITE 'PALACE' BOWL MARK AND PERIOD OF CHENGHUA

A BLUE AND WHITE ‘PALACE’ BOWL MARK AND PERIOD OF CHENGHUA. Photograph courtesy of Sotheby’s.

AUTUMN 2017

PROGRAMME OF LECTURES

Lectures will be held at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
at 6.00 p.m., or with welcome drinks in advance, at 5.45 p.m. for 6.15 p.m., unless otherwise noted*.

Tuesday 10th October

5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis

Patricia Ferguson, National Trust Adviser on Ceramics

Marks of Distinction: The National Trust’s Chinese Armorial Porcelain at Osterley, Shugborough and Kedleston

Any study of Chinese armorial porcelain for the British market must begin with David S. Howard’s ground breaking tomes published in 1974 and 2003. Of the approximately 5,000 services Howard recorded, this lecture focuses on just three mid-eighteenth-century case studies ordered by, or for, three members of the armigerous English landowning gentry, including a banker and director of the East India Company, a Royal Navy Commodore, and Derbyshire colliery owner. By looking in depth at the services themselves, at their design inspirations, the circumstances of their commission, and as heirlooms, we can further broaden our understanding of this great ceramic tradition. Significantly, the porcelain was often only part of the order, albeit the largest, which frequently included embroidered silk, lacquer and mother-of-pearl gaming counters all with armorials, supported with examples from other early eighteenth-century commissions for context.

Patricia Ferguson is the National Trust Adviser on Ceramics, and is the author of Ceramics: 400 years of British Collecting in 100 Masterpieces, Philip Wilson Publishing (2016) and Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses, V&A Publishing (2016). She has an M.A. in Archaeology from S.O.A.S.

(Asian Art in London 2017 is from November 2nd – 11th)

Monday 6th November

* Bonhams Annual OCS Lecture at Bonhams *

101 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SR

Drinks from 5:30 pm, lecture starts at 6:00 pm.

Lecture open to all – no ticket required.

Jessica Harrison-Hall and Richard Blurton

Preview of New China and South Asia Gallery at the British Museum

Thanks to the generosity of the Sir Joseph Hotung Charitable Settlement, in November 2017 the British Museum’s new China and South Asia gallery will open. This lecture will introduce members to the curatorial thought behind the display. The narrative, which will now be chronological, has been completely reimagined. Due to advances in lighting and digital technology, we are now able to include paintings and textiles in the discussions of Chinese and South Asian cultures.

Jessica Harrison-Hall is Head of the China Section and Curator of Chinese Ceramics (including the Sir Percival David Collection) at the British Museum. Her research interests are in China’s global relationships and history. She has published widely and organised many exhibitions. In her most recent project, together with Professor Craig Clunas of Oxford University and Luk Yu-ping of the British Museum, she ran an AHRC research project investigating early Ming connections with the wider world (2012-2016). The project resulted in an exhibition and book titled Ming: 50 years that changed China (2014) as well as a popular book Ming: Art, People and Places (2014) and edited conference volume Ming China: Courts and Contacts 1400-1450 (2016).

Richard Blurton is Head of the South and Southeast Asia Section of the British Museum.  He has conducted fieldwork all over the subcontinent (including Afghanistan) and produced sixteen exhibitions at the Museum, and in India.  His recent research has focused on the Northeast with resulting publications and exhibitions: Arunachal Pradesh (2008-09) and Assam (2016).  The latter has been accompanied by a BMP publication, Krishna in the Garden of Assam.  His other books include Hindu Art (1992), Bengali Myths (2016) and, (with Ralph Isaacs), Visions from the Golden Land: Burma and the art of Lacquer (2000), along with edited volumes.  He has added significantly to the Museum collections with an emphasis on modern collecting.

Tuesday 14th November

OCS Asia Week lecture

5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis

Dr Hiromi Kinoshita, The Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Associate Curator of Chinese Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Han dynasty painted bronzes

During the Han dynasty, vessels relating to eating, drinking and everyday life, made from a variety of materials including bronze, lacquer and ceramic were placed in tombs to provide for the deceased in the afterlife. Those made from bronze are usually free of elaborate decoration, yet a small group has been found with painted animal and figural designs on their exteriors that appear to be part of a regional style. With the recent discovery of several more of this rare type of painted bronze, and the opportunity to examine pigment analysis and new iconography from a recently acquired group, this talk will consider the role of such vessels in the tomb and their association with pictorial art of the period.

Hiromi Kinoshita joined the Philadelphia Museum of Art as The Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Associate Curator of Chinese Art in 2012. Prior to her arrival, she was Assistant Curator of Chinese Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where she published their collection catalogue, MFA Highlights: Arts of China. She served as consulting curator at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta for The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army (2008-09), an exhibition that originated in London at the British Museum where she was Assistant Curator (2006-2008) and authored the essay, ‘Qin Palaces and Architecture’, for the catalogue. Before this she co-curated the exhibition, China: The Three Emperors (1662-1795) at the Royal Academy, London and was a catalogue contributor. Dr. Kinoshita received her DPhil in Chinese art and archaeology from the University of Oxford. Her thesis focused on the hybrid burial practices of the Liao Khitan elite from the 10th to 12th centuries in northeast China.

Tuesday 5th December

5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Christie’s

Dr Beth McKillop, Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

New research on the V&A Collection of Kesi Tapestries

In 2010, Professor Wang Yarong, distinguished textiles scholar, visited the Victoria and Albert Museum by invitation, to review kesi tapestries. The researchers spent an intensive period in the Asian Department offices, meticulously studying the objects, which were then stored at South Kensington. Of about 100 objects researched and condition reported, some were in good condition while others had losses in threads or wefts or showed evidence of tearing or staining. A reciprocal visit to the Capital Museum, Beijing, was made by Helen Persson, who was then Collections Management Curator, Asia Department. The lecture will summarise the Chinese researchers’ findings and recommendations, and present the V&A collection of kesi tapestries.

Beth McKillop is a Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Previously she was V&A Keeper of Asia (2004-10), Director of Collections, and Deputy Director (2010-16). Her interests in Korean ceramics and book history are reflected in publications including Korean Art and Design, 1992 and the Korea sections of the Oxford Companion to the Book, 2010. Beth’s work on Chinese collections builds on 20 years of research at the British Library. With Frances Wood, she collaborated with Chinese scholars to research Dunhuang and other collections held by the Library.