Seifu Yohei and his Contemporaries: Meiji Ceramics in the Scholarly Taste

Date: current – 25/04/2010
Venue: The Museum of East Asian Art, 12 Bennett Street, Bath BA1 2QJ

This exhibition showcases the beautiful collection of Meiji period Ceramics made by Seifu Yohei (1851–1914) and other contemporary potters and will be on display to the public until 25th April 2010.

In the mid to late 19th century Japan opened up worldwide trade relations, ending a 200 year policy of seclusion.
As a result not only were Japanese ceramics influenced by a wealth of new aesthetics, but it also exposed Japanese artists and craftsmen to international expos where their work could be showcased.
This pushed the potters to experiment with new glazes and techniques that would move on from the designs of the past which now seemed antiquated in comparison to the Art Nouveau motifs wowing Europe.
One of the most highly praised potters to emerge during this, the Meiji Period, Seifu was born to a family of Kyoto potters, eventually taking over the family business.
Despite the influences from Europe felt by his contemporaries, Seifu’s interest lay in Chinese porcelain, and early in his career he mainly produced Chinese Ming and Song-style porcelain.
Seifu’s main market was domestic, where he won many awards and became the first potter to be designated an Imperial Household Artist – the highest official accolade to be awarded to top artists and craftsmen.

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