WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2017/2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/897427

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Page 83 of 195

The East Asian gallery, for example, offers both a chronological and a cross- cultural window into the world of ceramics. Across one wall is a thousand- year time line in the form of vessels — decorative and utilitarian — fashioned in China. It illustrates the development and application of new glazes and their periodic revivals. A display case in the center of the gallery shows how the signature blue- and-white palette of Chinese ceramics became a global phenom- enon. Through the network of Eurasian trading routes, including the Silk Road, the color pattern developed concurrently in Persia and China, and then, with the expanding Islamic empire, spread across southern Europe. In the 17 th century, the color motif became popular in Western Europe through imports shipped by the Dutch East India Company. Working with earthenware, Dutch artisans developed Delftware (also known as Delft Blue or Delft pottery) in an effort to imitate the Chinese porcelains. An example on display is a late 17 th century blue-and-white vase decorated with images of stylized figures riding a camel, a turtle, and a rhinoceros. With colonization, the blue and white colors spread to the New World, where Mexican artists mixed Chinese and Native motifs, as reflected in a pharmacy jar (called an albarello) decorated with such images as a crane, the Taoist symbol of longevity, and a Nopal Cactus (also referred to as Prickly Pear), symbolizing the Aztec Empire. Perhaps the most unusual object in the display case is "Sea Sculpture," a stack of porcelain teacups fused together by an inferno that sank a Chinese vessel carrying luxury goods to a Dutch trading post. The 1725 shipwreck wasn't discovered until 1998. * * * The Davis curators brought in outside experts to help evaluate the col- lection. A specialist from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, for example, was "blown away by the quality and condition of the African art in storage," says Whitner. "We now have three galleries dedicated to African art." Why that collection is so impressive is a story in itself. New York gal- lery owners John and Halina Klejman began donating many of the pieces after their daughter enrolled in Wellesley in the 1950s. The Klejmans, who had owned a gallery in Warsaw before World War II, were among the few Jews to survive imprisonment in the Warsaw Ghetto. They immigrated to the United States in 1950. In the 1930s, Klejman Florentine sculptor Giuseppe Piamontini's bronze "Faun and Satyr" (before 1713). P H O T O S B Y S T E V E B R I G G S P H O T O G R A P H Y 82 Davis Museum W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8

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