Alfred University News

Alfred Ceramic Art Museum opens most ambitious exhibition to date: "Path of the Teabowl"

Arakawa Toyozo, Red Shino Teabowl with Sea Plovers, 1955-56.
Arakawa Toyozo, Red Shino Teabowl with Sea Plovers, 1955-56.

The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum on Sept. 23 will open 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 will run through Dec. 29.


The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum on Sept. 23 will open 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 will run through Dec. 29.

Jones will deliver a lecture, The Teabowl, Sept. 28 at 4:30 pm in Holmes Auditorium; her lecture will be available on the Zoom platform. Register by visiting: https://alfredu.zoom.us/m...

According to Higby, discussion and planning for the exhibition began in 2015, and Path of the Teabowl will include 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. “Zen 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 will be on view Sept. 23 – Dec. 29. Museum hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Closed Mondays and Thanksgiving Day.

https://ceramicsmuseum.al...

ceramicsmuseum@alfred.edu

Phone: 607-871-2421

Pictured above in accompanying image: Arakawa Toyoz┼Ź, Red Shino Teabowl with Sea Plovers, 1955–56. Stoneware with glaze, 9.2 x 13 cm (3 5/8 x 5 1/8 in). Collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz. Photography by Brian Oglesbee.