Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics

February 23, 2014–May 11, 2014

Japan’s contemporary ceramic artists draw on traditions begun thousands of years ago as they create containers for the presentation of flowers. Inspired in part by Japan’s distinctive ikebana flower arranging styles, the extraordinary ceramics on display in Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics exist in unique harmony with these floral traditions. With dramatic designs both traditional and contemporary, this exhibition celebrates the works of many of Japan’s greatest living ceramic artists.

Comprised almost exclusively of vases drawn from the Betsy and Robert Feinberg Collection, we explore the ways in which contemporary ceramic artists have challenged and come to understand the vessel as a support for flowers. Responding to Japan’s ikebana flower arranging traditions and to the distinctive design aspects of the Japanese interior, the ceramics in this exhibition reveal the beauty and power that has distinguished Japan’s contemporary ceramic artists.

This exhibition celebrates the extraordinary gift to the Walters of contemporary Japanese ceramics from Betsy and Bob Feinberg. It has been generously supported by The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Friends of the Asian Collection of the Walters Art Museum, the Bernard Family, and Mr. and Mrs. Douglas W. Hamilton, Jr, and The Edward Clark Wilson Fund for Asian Art.