Chinamania: Whistler and the Victorian Craze for Blue-and-White

August 7, 2010 – August 7, 2011

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Ground Floor Floor Plan

Chinamania discusses the significance of Chinese export porcelain in Whistler's England, where it was first an object of serious aesthetic inspiration but soon proliferated as an aspirational commodity. Whistler himself was an early collector of the wares and depicted them in his paintings, stimulating the craze for blue-and-white porcelain that swept London in the 1870s and that the British press mockingly dubbed "Chinamania."

The exhibition features 23 works of art; a group of 8 wash drawings of Kangxi porcelain produced by Whistler for a collector's catalogue; related examples of blue and white from the Peacock Room; and several paintings, pastels, and etchings inspired by Whistler's interest in porcelain.