Porcelain from the 17th Century at the Frick NYC

Ethnic Chic - Home Couture about the Frick NYC

If you’re interested in the history and making of porcelain, this is one of your favourite exhibition of the year 2016/2017. Imagine sculptures by Arlene Shechet, porcelain from Royal Meissen and the Arnhold Collection at The Frick NYC!

The history of porcelain in a nutshell

The history of ceramic art goes back more than 2,000 years, of which the first pieces were found in Europe. Nevertheless, the oldest porcelain pieces come from East Asia and some experts believe the first piece was made in China. Until the 16th century only a small amount of expensive porcelain was imported. Later on via the ‘Silk Route’, the porcelain industry made its debut in Europe. Soon the renowned Royal Meissen manufactory was leading in the world of porcelain.

The Frick NYC

The Frick’s curator of Decorative Arts Charlotte Vignon and New-York based sculptor Arlene Shechet selected about one hundred pieces of porcelain, most of the works date from 1720 to 1745. Sixteen works in the exhibition are Shechet’s own sculptures, with nature as the dominant theme.

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What to expect: Porcelain, No Simple Matter

Andrea K. Scott writes a review on the New Yorker, in which she points out: “For two thousand years, the process of making white porcelain was a secret known only to the Chinese. After the kings of Europe got an eyeful of China’s Imperial treasures, thanks to Marco Polo’s adventures on the Silk Road, the objects became so highly prized that the Germans coined a word for the mania, Porzellankrankheit, or “porcelain sickness.” The Germans were also the first to crack the porcelain code, in 1708, two years after King Augustus the Strong imprisoned the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger and ordered him to produce the “white gold.” (The recipe involves high-silica clay and high heat.) By 1710, the Royal Meissen manufactory was in business, employing a small army of mold-makers, hand-modellers, and miniaturist painters, as it still does today.” Read the full review here.


The exhibition is presented in the Frick’s Portico Gallery, which overlooks the museum’s historic Fifth Avenue Garden. If you’re heading to New York before April 2017, go and have a look before it’s gone!

Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection, The Frick Collection 1 East 70th Street
New York, NY 1002124 May 2016
 – 02 April 2017.

Posted by Ethnic Chic

Credits: Arlene Shechet, The Frick & Yatzer.
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