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Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s most influential artists and human rights activists, and one of China’s most formidable critics. Ai Weiwei: Unbroken features a selection of the artist's most iconic ceramics, and marks the international debut of new work. Opens February 28!
Drawing from the Gardiner’s own collection and artist Ai Weiwei’s practice in traditional Chinese craft, Dr. Maris Boyd Gillette explores how Jingdezhen porcelain has inspired ceramists to create, copy, and counterfeit its glories.
The Gardiner Museum is among the few museums in the world focused on ceramics, and is one of the most important specialty museums internationally. It houses approximately 4,000 objects, including European porcelain, ceramics from the Ancient Americas, Chinese porcelain, Japanese porcelain, and contemporary ceramics. Search the collection online!
Everyone can love clay! Become a Friend at one of the world’s great specialty museums and enjoy the benefits, including unlimited admission, invitations to exhibition previews and special events, discounts on lectures and clay classes, and more.
Part of the Gardiner Signature Lecture Series
The Ann Walker Bell Lecture
Blue-and-white porcelain from Jingdezhen, China’s porcelain capital, is the world’s most widely traded ceramic ware. From its late 13th-century creation to its contemporary reinventions, Jingdezhen’s blue-and-white porcelain has been admired and sought after by kings, connoisseurs, collectors, and consumers. Drawing from the Gardiner’s Chinese blue-and-white porcelain collection and artist Ai Weiwei’s practice in traditional Chinese craft, anthropologist and cultural historian Maris Boyd Gillette will explore how Jingdezhen porcelain has inspired, intimidated, and incited ceramists to create, copy, and counterfeit its glories.
Maris Boyd Gillette is a sociocultural anthropologist and cultural historian who researches changing economic practices, social identities, and material culture, primarily in modern China. Gillette works regularly with museums on exhibitions, public history, and educational outreach and has facilitated several community engagement initiatives in Philadelphia and St Louis. She is the author of China’s Porcelain Capital: The Rise, Fall and Reinvention of Ceramics in Jingdezhen (Bloomsbury 2016) and Between Mecca and Beijing: Modernization and Consumption among Urban Chinese Muslims (Stanford 2000). Gillette is Professor of Social Anthropology, School of Global Studies, the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Ai Weiwei, Blue and White Moonflask (detail), 1996. Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio.
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