Enfilade

Vienna Porcelain at the Met: Exhibition and Symposium

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 19, 2009

Press release from the Met:

Imperial Privilege: Vienna Porcelain of Du Paquier, 1718–44

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 22 September 2009 – 21 March 2010

h2_54.147.94

Vase, ca. 1730, Austrian; Vienna, du Paquier period, hard-paste porcelain, 6 x 8 inches (NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art); inscription reads (in translation): "China, you will not have called your arts unknown any longer; in Europe, you will triumph through the skill of Vienna."

The Du Paquier ceramic manufactory, founded by Claudius Innocentius du Paquier in Vienna in 1718, was only the second factory in Europe able to make true porcelain in the manner of the Chinese. This small porcelain enterprise developed a highly distinctive style that remained Baroque in inspiration throughout the history of the factory, which was taken over by the State in 1744. Imperial Privilege: Vienna Porcelain of Du Paquier, 1718–44 charts the history of the development of the Du Paquier factory, setting its production within the historic and cultural context of Vienna in the first half of the eighteenth century. The exhibition features more than 100 works, half drawn from the Metropolitan Museum’s superb collection, and half from the premier private collection of this material.

With the increase in trade with China in the seventeenth century, Westerners developed a passion for Chinese and Japanese porcelain. The demand grew so great that Europeans began experiments to replicate the Chinese hard-paste porcelain, or “white gold,” and create their own production. Germany was the first to produce true porcelain in 1708, leading to the founding of the Meissen factory in 1710. Soon after, Claudius Innocentius du Paquier enlisted a worker from the Meissen factory to help him produce porcelain in Vienna. Although it shared a number of forms with Meissen porcelain, the Vienna factory distinguished itself by developing its own distinctive and whimsical style of painted decoration. Du Paquier produced a range of tablewares, decorative vases, and small-scale sculpture that found great popularity with the Hapsburg court and Austrian nobility.

The works will be installed according to the functions they served – drinking vessels, wares for dining, decorative vases – in the refined life of the eighteenth-century Viennese aristocracy for which they were created. The exhibition includes the recreation in the gallery of an extravagant table that was set for the Holy Roman Empress. In addition to the porcelain, elaborate table decorations and pyramids of fruit sculpted from sugar, specially made for the exhibition, will adorn the table.

Another of the many highlights in the exhibition is a tulip vase from the Metropolitan Museum’s collection. Depicting a scene of a man (thought to be du Paquier) seated at a tea table with a display of porcelain on a buffet, it includes an inscription around the scene that reads: “China, you will not have called your arts unknown any longer; in Europe, you will triumph through the skill of Vienna.” Calling attention to Vienna’s great success in making porcelain, the vase is a very unusual, yet highly significant, piece from the Du Paquier manufactory, documenting its place in the history of porcelain production.

Imperial Privilege: Vienna Porcelain of Du Paquier, 1718–44 is organized at the Metropolitan Museum by Jeffrey Munger, Curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, and co-curator Meredith Chilton, an independent ceramic historian.

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Du Paquier Symposium: Friday, 25 September 2009

Morning Session, 10:00am – 12:30pm

  • ‘Welcome’ – Ian Wardropper, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • ‘Opening Remarks’ – Jeffrey Munger, Curator, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • ‘Fired by Passion: Vienna Baroque Porcelain of Claudius Innocentius du Paquier’ – Meredith Chilton, Ceramic Historian, Lac-Brome, Quebec
  • ‘The Triumph of Baroque Vienna’ – Johann Kräftner, Director, Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna
  • ‘Roses and Dragons: The Fascinating Story of the Du Paquier Manufactory and Its Baroque Porcelain’ – Meredith Chilton, Ceramic Historian, Lac-Brome, Quebec
  • ‘Du Paquier’s Porcelain: Artistic Expression and Technological Mastery, A Scientific Evaluation of the Materials’ – Francesca Casadio, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Conservation Scientist, Art Institute of Chicago

Afternoon Session, 2:00 – 4:45pm

  • ‘The World of Refinement: Du Paquier Porcelain in Everyday Court Life’ – Claudia Lehner-Jobst, Independent Art Historian and Curator, Vienna
  • ‘Gifts, Diplomacy, and Foreign Trade: Du Paquier Porcelain Abroad’ – Ghenete Zelleke, Samuel and M. Patricia Grober Curator of European Decorative Arts, Art Institute of Chicago
  • ‘Dressed Up in Porcelain: The Du Paquier Porcelain Room in the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna’ – Samuel Wittwer, Director, Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg
  • Discussion Panel – Jeffrey Munger, Moderator, Curator, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Katharina Hantschmann, Curator, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich and Ernst Schneider Bequest at Lustheim Castle; Sebastian Kuhn, Senior Specialist, Bonhams, London; Johanna Lessmann, Ceramic Historian, Hamburg; Melinda and Paul Sullivan, collectors

The symposium is free with museum admission. For more details, see the Met’s website.

N.B. It would be lovely to have a report on the proceedings from a HECAA member. Any takers?