Museum of Anthropology
“Chinese Ceramics from the Changsha Kilns: Reflections of Tang Dynasty Openness and Tolerance”
The exhibit provides an overview of the ceramics produced by families at the Changsha Kilns during the Tang Dynasty more than 1,000 years ago — putting Tang ceramics into their historical, geographic and cultural context.
The exhibit features more than 100 ceramic objects from the museum’s Lam Collection. In January 2012, Wake Forest alumnus Timothy See-Yiu Lam (’60) donated to the Museum of Anthropology nearly 600 ceramic pieces that he collected over more than 25 years. The Tang Dynasty bowls, ewers, cups, teapots, small toys and other pieces in the collection represent the largest and most comprehensive group of ceramics from the Changsha Kilns in the United States.
Yidan Fu, a junior accountancy major from China, worked with Museum Director Stephen Whittington to develop the exhibit. Yidan helped organize and analyze the hundreds of pieces in the Lam Collection. She also conducted research on Changsha ceramics in Chinese language texts and contributed an insider’s view of Chinese culture to the exhibit. Whittington also worked with Salem College student Victoria Smith to complete the final arrangement and installation of the exhibit.
The Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 AD) was a time of peace, prosperity, and acceptance in China, during which Changsha ceramics and other goods were traded overland along the Silk Road and overseas to reach as far away as western Asia and Africa.
Some of the pieces in the collection were broken (but painstakingly repaired) because, due to slight flaws in shape or glazing, kiln inspectors discarded them by burying them in refuse piles which were then excavated by archaeologists in the 1960s and 1970s. Ironically, most of the pieces that passed inspection were sold, used and ultimately broken—meaning they can rarely be fully reconstructed.
The Museum of Anthropology is open to the public Tues. through Sat. from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information contact the museum at 336-758-5282 or visit moa.wfu.edu.