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Cranes and Clouds: The Korean Art of Ceramic Inlay

Cranes and Clouds: The Korean Art of Ceramic Inlay

November 5, 2011 – Indefinitely

Museum: Freer Gallery of Art

Location: Gallery 14

The Korean Gallery features an exhibition embodying the evolution of the distinctive Korean ceramic decoration know as sanggam. Originally, sanggam involved inlaying white and black pigments into stamped or carved motifs to create images of cranes, clouds, ducks, lotuses, and willows that appear to float within a limpid green glaze. This technique appeared in Korea by the mid-12th century; it would adorn tableware and ritual vessels used by the court and nobility for two centuries. Once porcelain replaced celadon as the elite ceramic, however, the appearance of inlaid decoration changed radically. White pigment, applied in dense patterns to cover everyday bowls and dishes, approximated the snowy appearance of porcelain.

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