Oribe Ware: Color and Pattern Come to Japanese Ceramics

December 13, 2014 – June 14, 2015

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

Gallery F6A, 6 & 7 Floor Plan

Invented in Japan in 1605, Oribe ware introduced vivid pattern and color to a ceramics tradition that had previously favored somber, monochrome designs. Oribe ware vessels were used primarily for serving food and drinking tea, and their sprightly patterns with glossy black or brilliant green glazes made them a shimmering addition to 17th-century dining trays and tearooms. A major technological advance in ceramics—the Motoyashiki multi-chamber climbing kiln, which allowed potters to melt glazes to dazzling translucency—made this radically new appearance possible. This exhibition highlights the best selections of Oribe ware in the Freer's collection, including two new acquisitions on view for the first time.