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Imperial Elegance

Decent Essays
Elegance in a Room In one of the central galleries within the Seattle Asian Art Museum rests an exhibit titled Imperial Elegance. That room contains roughly twenty-one pieces from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, most of these items are porcelain, few are wooden, such as a sculpture of Damo and an imperial document box, but one is silk with embroidery of gold. The information panel in the exhibit expressed that decorative art, such as ceramics, crafting in ivory, jade and precious metals thrived during the Ming and Qing Dynasties and that during the 18th century the ceramics industry perfected the porcelain bodies and developed new techniques of embellishment. Most of this being done at Jingdezhen. The story that seems to be being told is the…show more content…
This is not to say that these other art forms were not still being developed at that time. Though, looking the what the ceramics were ornamented with, the shift to earthenware seems to carry over some of the tradition of painting, calligraphy and poetry. Although, this gallery has little on the transition itself and more on the well developed end result of the centuries of progression. Similar to the comparison of the Dings from each part of the Zhou dynasty there is apparent development but unlike the progression of the Ding there is no hint as to what the earthenware was before the Ming Dynasty. There are some other prominent missing items from this gallery. The text panels, every piece had one, everyone had the location, name and date of the piece, but most had little information on the piece it stat next too, some just exclaimed who had donated the piece, not the meaning behind anything or the significance of it in relation to the time period, now this may be because some of these things have an apparent significance but I feel that that will be lost for people who know little about what was significant during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Now because of this general lack, I had little more insight into the significance into what lead to the development of things like blue and white ware, and underglaze techniques. I am unsure if the curator intended this or if it was a hapless byproduct. I wish that there had been some details focused on the pre-Ming developments, even minor ones or just a brief overview of what the years prior and what they had done to make these advancements. Not only that but, covering nearly 600 years of ceramic progress and improvement, whilst throwing in some of other items not related to porcelain, this
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