Earthly Delights: 6,000 Years of Asian Ceramics

, University Study Gallery, Harvard Art Museums
  • Flower Vase in the Form of an Archaic Bronze 'Zun' Wine Vessel with Dragon-and-Wave Decor
  • Covered ovoid jar on attached base
  • Broad-Shouldered Jar with Tall Neck and Dragon-and-Flaming-Jewel Decoration
  • Tall Storage Jar with Broad Shoulders
  • Spherical Tea or Wine Pot with Bail Handle and with Auspicious Designs of Bats and Fruiting Pomegranate Branch
  • 'Maebyŏng' Bottle with Dragon Decor
  • Low-Pedestal Storage Jar with Striding-Horse and Openwork Decoration
  • Pedestal Storage Jar with Geometric and Openwork Decoration
  • Flat Dish with Everted Lip and Decoration of Carp, Flowering Branches, and Fruiting Grapevines
  • Censer in the Form of an Archaic Bronze 'Li Ding' Tripod Vessel
  • Large Circular Platter with Floral Decor
  • Compressed Globular Jarlet with Scrolling Lotus Decor
  • Globular Bottle with Long, Cylindrical Neck and Coral-Red Glaze
  • Vase with Flaring Foot and Neck and with Coral-Red Glaze
  • Tall Vase with Long, Lightly Flaring Neck and
  • Ovoid Jar with Yellow Glaze (one of two)
  • Globular Bottle with Long, Slender Neck and Decoration of Dragons and Bats amid Clouds
  • Ritual Food Vessel (Fang ding) with 'Taotie' Decor
  • Large, Broad-Shouldered Jar with Decoration of Fish and Aquatic Plants
  • Tall Jade 'Cong'
  • Flower Vase in the Form of an Archaic Bronze 'Zun' Vessel with Flanges
  • Covered Ovoid Jar (So-Called Ginger Jar) with Two Large and Four Small Decorative Cartouches, Each Featuring Antiquities and Auspicious Emblems
  • Pillow in the Form of Recumbent, Addorsed Lions Supporting a Headrest with Bird-and-Flower Décor
  • Globular Jar with Short Vertical Neck and Four Loop Handles
  • Globular ewer with dragon form handle
  • Cup
  • Jar with lotus petal decor (lianhua zun)
  • Circular tray with three ring-form feet
  • Large, Wide-Bodied Storage Jar with Dragon and Cloud Decor
  • Pear-Shaped Bottle with Stylized Lotus Decor
  • High-shouldered 'Guan'-Shaped jar with Floral Sprays, Vine Scrolls, and Petal Motifs
  • Incense Burner in the Form of an Archaic Ritual Bronze
  • 'Meiping' Bottle with Phoenix and Cloud Decor
  • Cylindrical Bottle with Flaring Lip and Abstract Decor
  • Square Vase with Abstract Floral Decor
  • Circular Bowl with Slightly Everted Lip
  • Kiln Waster: Three Joined Small Bottles, Each Bottle with Angled Shoulders and Long Neck
  • Long, Squared Bottle with Horizontal Ridges
  • Pillow in the Form of a Recumbent Tiger
  • Circular Bowl with Flaring Lip and Dragon Decor
  • Short, Broad-shouldered Jar with Decoration of Two Dragons, Each Striding amid Clouds over Mountains and Rolling Waves
  • Bowl with Decoration of Two Dragons, Each Pursuing a Flaming Jewel
  • Bowl with Angular Walls and Dragon-and-Cloud Decor
  • Small Globular Bottle with Long, Slender Neck and Crackled Apple-Green Glaze
  • Moon Flask with Decoration of the Eight Buddhist Treasures (Babao) within Stylized Lotus Petals
  • One Vase from a Garniture Set: Tall Cylindrical Vase with Flaring Lip and Subtly Flaring Foot and with Decoration of a Scrolling Vine with Fruiting and Flowering Branches
  • Double-handled jar
  • Mountain-form censer (boshanlu) with tortoise-form base
  • Covered spherical jar
  • Covered ovoid jar (guan)
  • Cup
  • Goose-head vessel
  • Large dish
  • Jar with Decoration of Peony Sprays
  • Large Platter Decorated with a Map of the World
  • Broad-shouldered jar
  • Large Bowl-Type Pedestal Stand with Abstract and Openwork Decoration
  • Bronze-Form Vase with Compressed Globular Body, Long, Lightly Flaring Neck, and Mirror Black Glaze
  • Vase with Flaring Mouth (Guanyin ping) and Black Glaze with Traces of Gold Decoration
  • Covered Ovoid Jar (So-Called Ginger Jar) with Decoration of Blossoming Plum Branches against a
  • 'Zhadou' Receptacle in the Form of an Archaic Bronze 'Zun' Wine Vessel with Decoration of Striding Dragons and Clouds
  • Ceremonial Stand with Snake, Abstract, and Openwork Decoration
  • Long-necked jar
  • Circular Dish with Dragon Decor
  • Flattened Bottle with Abstract Decor
  • Tiger-shaped chamber pot (huzi)
  • Chicken headed ewer with descending lotus-petal decor
  • Cup
  • Covered Jar with Six Strap Handles and Stylized Lotus Decor
  • Covered jar (hu) with pictorial decoration
  • Ovoid Jar with Short, Flaring Neck ('Wannian Hu')
  • Large Storage Jar
  • 'Meiping' Vase with Scrolling Lotus Flower and Stylized Lotus Petal Decor
  • 'Gu' Ritual Wine Vessel with 'Taotie' and Stylized Dragon Decor
  • Large
  • Kiln Waster: Jian-Ware Tea Bowl Fused to the Interior of a Saggar
  • Globular Bottle with Long, Slender Neck and Coral-Red Glaze
  • High-Shouldered Vase with Lightly Flaring Lip and Coral-Red Glaze
  • Globular Bottle with Long, Slender Neck and Coral-Red Glaze
  • Circular Bowl with Lightly Flaring Lip and Decoration of Two Dragons, Each Pursuing a Flaming Jewel, Alternating with Two Phoenixes on the Exterior, and a Heraldic Dragon Pursing a Flaming Jewel on the Interior
  • Wide-Shouldered Jar with Decoration of Two Dragons, Each Pursuing a Flaming Jewel and Striding over Mountains and Water
  • One Vase from a Garniture Set: Tall Cylindrical Vase with Flaring Lip and Subtly Flaring Foot and with Decoration of a Scrolling Vine with Fruiting and Flowering Branches
  • Moon Jar (Tal-hang-a-ri)
  • Large, Broad-Shouldered Jar with Decoration of Two Striding Dragons, Each Pursuing a Flaming Jewel
  • Circular tray with three ring-form-feet and five cups
  • Tripod cauldron (ding)
  • Small, Pear-Shaped Bottle with Flaring Lip and Decoration of Two Fish
  • Mountain-form censer (boshanlu)
  • Cup
  • Cup
  • Cuspidor
  • Vessel in the form of a mythical beast
  • Funerary jar (hunping)
  • Wide-Mouthed Jar with Low Ring Foot and Stylized Floral Decor
  • Lion-shaped candle holder or stand
  • Square Bottle with Blossoming Plum Decor
  • Round-Bottomed, Globular Jar with Two Lug Handles and with Basket-Weave Decor
  • Pear-Shaped Bottle with Fish Decor
  • 'Maebyŏng' Bottle with Chrysanthemum Decor
  • Jar with Chrysanthemum-Petal Decor
  • Large Circular Platter with Floral Decor
  • Cylindrical Brushpot with Black Glaze and Traces of Floral Decoration
  • Large Compressed, Globular Bottle with Long, Cylindrical Neck and
  • Small Broad-Shouldered Vase with Flaring Foot and Lip and Green Glaze
University Study Gallery, Harvard Art Museums

Make your reservation to visit the Harvard Art Museums now!

Transport yourself over millennia and marvel at East Asian ceramics of all shapes, styles, colors, and textures.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to explore highlights from the Harvard Art Museums’ collection of Asian ceramics. Anchored by standout works from Korea and China, and also featuring objects from Vietnam and Japan, the exhibition emphasizes how visual, material, and technical features varied across time and place—while also drawing connections among potters working in disparate contexts.

Made between the 5th millennium BCE and the 21st century, the over 100 works in the exhibition display a wide range of techniques used by potters to channel the intense heat of the kiln. These potters, whose identities have largely not been recorded, used ceramic wares to capture the essence of East Asian cultures during their lifetimes. A selection of objects in the exhibition depicting animals and observations of the natural world provides one important window into this relationship between artists and their milieus.

Discover dragons, a popular motif on Korean and Chinese ceramics that is associated with royals, and see how these mythical creatures can take on both comical and majestic forms. In addition, the story of ceramics would not be complete without an exploration of cobalt blue and its importance to the aesthetics of East Asian ceramics. This becomes evident in the selection of platters and jars on view in the exhibition, from perfectly executed Chinese imperial ware to delightfully informal Korean and Vietnamese examples.

Curated by Sarah Laursen, Alan J. Dworsky Associate Curator of Chinese Art, and Soyoung Lee, Landon and Lavinia Clay Chief Curator, with contributions by Yuhua Ding, Gregory and Maria Henderson Curatorial Fellow in East Asian Art, and Yan Yang, Cunningham Curatorial Assistant for the Collection, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art.

This exhibition is supported by the Gregory and Maria Henderson Fund.