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FoF3 Funding for Sarah Fraser

May 28, 2015

A project headed by Cluster member Prof. Sarah E. Fraser receives funding from Heidelberg University's Field of Focus 3 "Cultural Dynamics in Globalised Worlds". The one-year research project will explore the importance of Chinese narrative porcelain in Europe.

Prof. Fraser's project is entitled "Formative Decades: 17th and 18th C. Chinese Narrative Porcelains Collected and Re-manufactured by August the Strong, Dresden-Meissen". It has two foci: First, it will give a systematic overview of the iconographic themes in August's collection (approx. 20,000 pieces), examining the circulation and interaction of iconography across media in 17th c. Jingdezhen (China). Second, the project will investigate the impact of Chinese iconography upon European Chinoiserie and motifs used in Meissen porcelain. The aim of the project is therefore to place the history of European Chinoserie in a larger, transcultural frame, linking it to the history of porcelain trade to the Ming dynasty (1400-1450). It was then that Chinese naval and diplomatic expeditions brought ceramics within Europe's reach for the first time. The project focuses on the transition from August's collecting Chinese wares to establishing Meissen porcelain production with Chinese inspired motifs. This process will be viewed in the broader context of European Chinoiserie and its Timurid Chinoiserie roots.

The project "Formative Decades: 17th and 18th C. Chinese Narrative Porcelains Collected and Re-manufactured by August the Strong, Dresden-Meissen" is based on a formal cooperation agreement between the Department of Porcelain, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and the Institute of East Asian Art History, Heidelberg University. It is funded by Heidelberg University's Field of Focus 3 "Cultural Dynamics in Globalised Worlds" (FoF3). FoF3 concentrates on the construction and dynamics of cultural spaces. It aims to better understand urgent problems of cultural identity, social and religious conflicts, and transcultural processes that are caused, for example, by accelerated mobility, migration or historical entanglements.

Leader of the project on Chinese porcelain is Prof. Sarah E. Fraser, Chair of Chinese Art History at the Institute of East Asian Art History and member of NET1 "Arts and the Transcultural" at the Cluster "Asia and Europe".

 


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  • A Ming-Dragon on a piece of Meissen porcelain (Kaolin, Wikimedia Commons).