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Robert looking at two vases sold by his grandfather

Pioneering Ceramics at the Prinsenhof in Delft

At the Museum Prinsenhof Delft, a treasures of Delft earthenware awaits visitors. The 17th-century passion of Delft pottery makers attempting to create Chinese porcelain gave rise to a new product: Delft Blue. Thus began a flourishing period for ceramic artistry emanating from Delft. Building upon the museum’s collection of pottery from the 17th and 18th centuries, the exhibition “Pioneering Ceramics” combines historical earthenware with contemporary art. This exhibition reveals surprising parallels and significant differences, showcasing how innovation is encouraged. Through contemporary themes such as sustainability, locality, and diversity, the exhibition invites viewers to discern connections between the past and present.

“Pioneering Ceramics” introduces a new acquisition for the Museum Prinsenhof Delft: a remarkable pair of pike tureens, extravagantly decorated trompe l’oeil tableware from the second half of the 18th century. A displayed example of decorated tableware from this period is a faucet jug in the form of a lady, one of the treasures unearthed from the museum’s vaults for this exhibition. Another outstanding artwork included in the exhibition is a pair of very impressive flower holders attributed to De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from circa 1690, sold to the municipality of Delft in 1967 by Robert’s grandfather. These flower holders offer a glimpse into the exquisite craftsmanship of the Delft artisans of the time. Additionally, the museum showcases ceramics from 23 contemporary artists, with a focus on recent works by emerging talents. The selection is diverse, with special attention given to autodidactic artists, individuals with non-Western backgrounds, and those offering alternative perspectives. Max Lipsey crafts a table from Delft Blue ceramic waste. Benedetta Pompili displays work created during her recent residency at the Rijksakademie Amsterdam. Highlighting the continued influence of Asia, the exhibition also features works from participants in the Creative Residency Arita in Japan, including new pieces by Simone Post.

The exhibition “Pioneering Ceramics” at the Museum Prinsenhof Delft runs from 16 February to 8 September 2024 at the Museum Prinsenhof Delft. It celebrates the beauty of ceramics. A growing forefront of artists is embracing earthenware, pushing the boundaries of the craft. By presenting masterpieces from the historical earthenware collection alongside contemporary creations, “Pioneering Ceramics” sparks a dynamic dialogue that yields unique insights. While the fundamental recipe of ceramics remains unchanged, the world to which makers respond has evolved significantly. “Pioneering Ceramics” brings multiple perspectives and stories to light, inviting visitors to view the past through a contemporary lens.

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