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Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Where: Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Presents the Ralph H. and Constance I. Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain and
On the Silk Road and the High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture, and Commerce
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens presents a new installation of the Ralph H. and Constance I. Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain in the newly renovated Betsy & William D. Lovett Gallery. On view May 13, 2011, the collection features more than 700 examples of Meissen Porcelain donated to the Museum by siblings Ralph and Constance Wark. The Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain is recognized as the most significant collection of its type in the United States and one of the top three in the world. To give visitors a better understanding of Meissen production, The Cummer will also be exhibiting On the Silk Road and the High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture, and Commerce organized by the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida. The exhibition, on view through August 14, 2011, features nearly 70 objects that show the story of Chinese potter's response to evolving trade and domestic markets.
"The Wark Collection is one of the three most important collections of its type in the world and the most significant collection of early Meissen tableware in the United States," said Cummer Curator Holly Keris. "It is a true treasure. It also represents the largest gift of objects in the history of the Museum - even more than the Cummers left to our institution. Ralph and Constance Wark truly heeded Mrs. Cummer's call for others to join her in making The Cummer a "center of beauty and culture for all the citizens of Jacksonville."
Ralph and Constance Wark, residents of St. Augustine, donated their unique collection to The Cummer in 1965. Wark bought his first piece of Meissen Porcelain in 1922; almost 40 years later he had amassed an extensive collection including plates, cups, saucers, chocolate pots, tureens, cream pots and tankards, all from the earliest years of Meissen manufacture.
Meissen porcelain production began in the West in the early 1700s. The first European to successfully reproduce the Asian technique was Johann Freidrich Böttger, alchemist and prisoner of Augustus the Strong, an enthusiastic porcelain collector. Augustus promised Böttger freedom if he could reproduce Asian "white gold." Böttger perfected the technique and became the first manager of the Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufacture in the Albrechtsburg Castle in Meissen.
Visitors can view examples of Böttger's work in the Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain, including a red vase circa 1710-1715. Visitors can also view Johann Gregor Höroldt's Meissen Augustus Rex Vases, voted one of the Cummer's 50 favorites in honor of the Museum's 50th Anniversary Year. The Wark Collection's reinstallation is highly anticipated as one of the highlights of the Museum's Anniversary Year.
"The reinstallation of the collection presents many wonderful opportunities for the Museum," said Keris. "First, this reinstallation presents the collection in a manner that is more reminiscent of traditional 18th century displays. At the same time, however, it is a truly modern interpretation that more accurately reflects the aesthetic in the rest of the Museum. Most importantly, however, is the fact that our new case design allows people of all ages and abilities to clearly see the collection. Our former cases were not ADA compliant, and because all the items were crowded on shelves, it was very difficult to see the pieces in the display. Now, each work of art is truly visible,"
In conjunction with the reinstallation, The Cummer will also unveil a new 600-page catalogue of the collection, authored by renowned Meissen scholar Dr. Ulrich Pietsch, Director of the Porcelain Collection of the State Art Collection in Dresden, Germany, and new interactive experiences designed by Wingard Creative, including a Meissen "app" and podcast.
"I hope visitors will use our new smart phone "app" and podcast to learn the story of passion and power that lies behind the creation of Meissen porcelain, and that they will take time to look at all the details in each piece," said Keris. "From miniature landscapes to mythical creatures like flying dragons, the world of Meissen is remarkable.
Also as part of the Meissen display, The Cummer will be exhibiting 11 pieces of Chinese ceramics from the renowned Koger Collection of Asian Ceramics. These pieces, now a part of the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, provide direct comparisons for visitors between Chinese originals and Meissen interpretations. These include a 17th Century Chinese teacup with molded decoration, and an almost exact Meissen replica from 1714.
Visitors can learn more about early porcelain production and trade in On the Silk Road and the High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture, and Commerce. The exhibition, on view May13 through August 14, 2011, consists of more than 70 examples of the goods that inspired Meissen artisans from the Doris and Leo Hodroff collection from the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. Featuring pieces adorned with traditional Western and Eastern designs such as the mille-fleur motif, the exhibition tells the story of why Chinese ceramics were so special back at home and abroad.
"Meissen porcelain represents a true scientific accomplishment in Europe," said Keris. "Although porcelain had been produced in China since the 7th century, scientists in Europe could not unlock the secrets of porcelain manufacture. Johann Böttger, an alchemist imprisoned by Augustus the Strong (Elector of Saxony and King of Poland), stumbled across the correct recipe, which is how the Meissen Manufactory began. Originally very utilitarian wares, porcelain objects were among the first commodities traded along the Silk Road, the first trading route between Europe and Asia."
The Silk Road, which stretched from Eastern China to the Black Sea, linked East China with South China and eventually Europe, making trade between the nations much easier and more successful. Eventually trade companies took to the seas, focusing on goods such as tea, silk and porcelain. The spike in trade and changing domestic markets played a role in stimulating Chinese potters to continually reinvent their repertoire of shapes and decorative techniques.
A special media tour for both exhibitions is scheduled for Thursday, May 12 at 10 a.m. with Cummer Curator Holly Keris. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Amy Chamberlin at (904) 899-6034.
The exhibitions are sponsored by: 50th Anniversary Host Committee, Adecco Group North America, Agility Press, Inc., Bank of America, Belet's Millwork, Inc., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., Carl S. Swisher Foundation, Inc., City of Jacksonville, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc., Education Partners for the 50th, Elkins Constructors, Inc., Fidelity Investments, jacksonville.com, Merrill Lynch, Shepherd Agency, State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, Studio Orange Design, The Florida Times-Union, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management and WJCT Public Broadcasting.
Special programs and events for visitors throughout the exhibitions include:
Art for Two: Dragon Invasion
Saturday, May 14, 2011, 10:30 a.m. to Noon
Students ages 3 to 5 will create a scale for the Museum dragon that will be hung in Art Connections interactive area. Pre-registration recommended.
Members $10 and Non-Members $15
For more information or to register, please call Art Connections at (904) 355-0630.
Talks & Tea Lecture Series: On the Silk Road and High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture and Commerce
Wednesday, May 18 or Thursday, May 19, 2011, 1:30 p.m.
Participants will enjoy a seated gallery talk explaining the On the Silk Road and High Seas exhibition. Drawn from the Doris and Leo Hodroff collection at the Norton Museum of Art, this ceramics exhibition examines the history of the Silk Road. This trading route, made famous by Marco Polo, stretched thousands of miles from eastern China to the Black Sea. Afternoon tea and refreshments will be available following the presentation.
Members and Non-members $6, fee includes lecture, tea and admission to the Museum and Gardens.
For reservations, please call (904) 355-0630.
Sponsored by Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts, Inc.
Art Adventures: Dragon Invasion
Saturday, May 21, 2011, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Students ages 6 to 12 will create a scale for the Museum dragon that will be hung in Art Connections interactive area. Pre-registration recommended.
Members $10 and Non-Members $15
For more information or to register, please call Art Connections at (904) 355-0630.
The Ancient Art of Pottery
Saturday, June 4, 2011, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ceramics Artist Glendia Cooper teaches how to create traditional pottery bodies using molds. Participants will learn applied surface decoration techniques and glazes inspired by the mythological creatures and botany found in the porcelain from the On the Silk Road and the High Seas exhibition.
Members $45, Non-members $60 and Current Docents $40
Lunch is included; pieces will be fired for pickup at a later date.
For more information or to register, please call (904) 355-0630.
Lecture: The Ralph H. and Constance I. Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain
Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 7 p.m.
Cummer Museum Curator Holly Keris will give a lecture on the Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain. More than three years of planning and research will culminate with a new reinstallation of the collection. Keris will speak about the importance of the collection, recognized as the most important collection of Meissen in the United States.
Free Admission
Free Tuesdays are sponsored by THE PLAYERS.
For more information please call (904) 355-0630.
Art for Two: Textile Printing
Saturday, June 11, 2011, 10:30 a.m. to Noon
Students ages 3 to 5 will print and stencil a scarf using traditional Chinese patterns and imagery found in the On the Silk Road and the High Seas exhibition. Pre-registration recommended.
Members $10 and Non-Members $15
For more information or to register, please call Art Connections at (904) 355-0630.
Talks & Tea Lecture Series: The Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain
Wednesday, June 15 or Thursday, June 16, 2011
Participants will enjoy a seated gallery talk explaining the Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain. Recognized as the most important collection of Meissen in the United States, the reinstallation of The Cummer's collection is accompanied by a new catalogue. Afternoon tea and refreshments will be available following the presentation.
Members and Non-members $6, fee includes lecture, tea and admission to the Museum and Gardens.
For more information or to register, please call (904) 355-0630.
Sponsored by Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts, Inc.
Art Adventures: Shui-mo-hua
Saturday, June 18, 2011, 10:30 a.m. to Noon
Students ages 6 to 12 will create their own scroll using Chinese wash painting and calligraphy techniques seen in the On the Silk Road and the High Seas exhibition.
Pre-registration recommended.
Members $10 and Non-Members $15
For more information or to register, please call Art Connections at (904) 355-0630.
For more information about the exhibitions, or to see a complete list of programs, events and classes, please visit The Cummer's website, www.cummer50.org or call (904) 356-6857.

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Where: Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
On the Silk Road and the High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture, and Commerce
May 13 through August 14, 2011
Drawn from the Doris and Leo Hodroff collection at the Norton Museum of Art, this exhibition tells the stories of why Chinese ceramics were so special at home and particularly abroad. Since the second century BCE, the so-called "Silk Road" stretched thousands of miles from eastern China to the Black Sea, thus linking the great civilizations of east Asia with those of southwest Asia and, thereby, to Europe. In later centuries the trade and cultural influences that flowed back and forth on land were transferred to the sea, and maritime shipping eventually came to dominate world commerce. The superb examples of Chinese ceramics featured in this exhibition, considered to be one of the finest in the world, were rarities in the Western world until the mid-18th century.
Members Free, Non-Members $10
For more information, call (904) 356-6857.


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Where: Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
New View: Interpretations of The Cummer Gardens
Through October 1, 2011

Visual art students at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts were encouraged to create interpretations - or new views - of works of art and the natural landscape. The project began by visiting The Cummer where students were inspired to draw in the garden. In the galleries, they were challenged by the concepts of abstract paintings of William Kienbusch, Karl Knaths, Romare Bearden, Abraham Rattner, and J. Phillip Hultberg in The Cummer's permanent collection.
The garden drawings created by these ninth graders were then taken back to the school's studio, where the students further developed them into finished drawings in a realistic and recognizable manner. Students then selected one or two of the art elements (line, shape, form, space, value, color, texture) to emphasize in a three part drawing progression - moving from realism to abstraction - resulting in beautifully diverse renditions of the natural environment.
Members Free, Non-Members $10
For more information, call (904) 355-0630.

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Where: Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The Neighborhood as Art: Celebrating the Riverside Avondale Area
June 14 through July 31, 2011
The Cummer and Riverside Avondale Preservation partner for a unique exhibition devoted to the history and future of our neighborhood.
Members Free, Non-Members $10
For more information, call (904) 356-6857.


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