Alfred University News

Alfred University to host 'Path of the Teabowl' conference Oct. 22-23

The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University will host the online conference Path of the Teabowl Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23, in conjunction with the exhibition Path of the Teabowl, currently on view at the Museum.

The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University will host the online conference Path of the Teabowl Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23, in conjunction with the exhibition Path of the Teabowl, currently on view at the Museum.

The conference will welcome international scholars and Alfred Ceramic Art faculty for presentations and discussions  regarding the iconic ceramic teabowl, which originated more than a thousand years ago in China, where it was initially used by Buddhist monks and others to serve and drink green tea.

More than 100 teabowls are on display at the ACAM exhibit illustrating the history of the teabowl. The exhibit will be on display through Dec. 29.

Welcoming remarks for the conference will be delivered by Wayne Higby, Professor of Ceramic Art as well as Director and Chief Curator of ACAM, and Alfred University Professor of Art History Meghen Jones, who curated the Path of the Teabowl exhibit and organized this conference.

A scholar of East Asian ceramic art, Jones’s essay “National Treasure Tea Bowls as Cultural Icons in Modern Japan” was published in The Construction and Dynamics of Cultural Icons, edited by Erica van Boven and Marieke Winkler (Amsterdam University Press). 

A conference recording will be available after the event on YouTube. 

For additional information about conference registration, contact us.

Ceramics Museum Events

Conference schedule:

Friday Oct. 22​

Session 1: 1-3:30 pm

Welcome remarks, Meghen Jones (Guest Curator, Path of the Teabowl and Associate Professor of Art History, Alfred University) and Wayne Higby (Director and Chief Curator, Alfred Ceramic Art Museum)

Robert D. Mowry (Senior Consultant in Chinese and Korean Art a Christie's, New York; Curator of Chinese Art Emeritus, Harvard Art Museums): “Tea Drinking in China and Song-Dynasty Black-Glazed Wares"

Philip Hu (Curator of Asian Art, Saint Louis Art Museum): “Color, Form, and Silhouette: Northern and Southern Song Tea Bowls and Related Bowl Stands from the Saint Louis Art Museum”

Ellen Avril (Chief Curator and the Judith H. Stoikov Curator of Asian Art, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University): “Poetry, Painting and Informal Tea: Two Collaborative Tea Bowls in the Modern Period” Discussion


Saturday Oct. 23

Session 2: 8 am-10:15 am

Seung Yeon Sang (Visiting Researcher, Autonomous University of Barcelona): “Cranes Soaring Among Clouds: The Appreciation of Koryŏ Celadon Teabowls”

Yūji Akimoto (Professor/ Director of The University Arts Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts; Director of Nerima Art Museum): “A Free Mood Bowl that Reinterprets Tradition through Subculture, Manga, and Anime Points of View”

Shinya Maezaki (Professor of Art History, Kyoto Women’s University): “The History of Teabowls from the Perspective of Supply and Demand” Discussion


-Tea break-


Session 3: 10:30 am-11:45 am

Andrew L. Maske (Associate Professor of Art History, University of Kentucky): “Viewing The Teabowl: The Role of Keshiki in Chawan Appreciation”

Natsu Oyobe (Curator of Asian Art, the University of Michigan Museum of Art): "The Teabowl in Contemporary Toriawase: Activating the Vessel for A One and Only Encounter"




-Lunch break-


Session 4: 12:30-3 pm

Morgan Pitelka (Chair, Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and Professor, Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill): “The Social Life of Raku Teabowls”

Meghen Jones (Guest Curator, Path of the Teabowl and Associate Professor of Art History, Alfred University): “The Teabowl at Alfred”

Discussion: Alfred Ceramic Art faculty roundtable (John Gill, Wayne Higby, Matt Kelleher, Walter McConnell, Linda Sikora (moderator), and Adero Willard)

Closing remarks: Wayne Higby and Meghen Jones

Conference program, presentation abstracts, speaker biographies, full schedule.

Financial support for this conference has been provided by a generous grant from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies."