Monday, 28 November 2011

Two Great American Collectors of Chinese Ceramics: Morgan and Freer

Two great American collectors of Chinese ceramics: Morgan and Freer
a lecture by James J. Lally, Chinese Ceremics Specialist on June 25, 2011 at the The Freer I Sackler.

Pope Memorial Lecture

Chinese ceramics specialist James J. Lally compares the aesthetic philosophies and acquisition practices of two great American collectors: J. P. Morgan, the so-called king of Wall Street, and Charles Lang Freer, founder of the Freer Gallery of Art. The lecture complements the exhibitions The Peacock Room Comes to America and Chinamania: Whistler and the Victorian Craze for Blue-and-White.

Morgan and Freer were close contemporaries, and despite very different origins, their biographies present many parallels. A century ago both were successful businessmen and voracious art collectors, and both acquired large holdings of Chinese ceramics—yet, their methods and resulting collections diverged in the extreme. While exploring a particular moment in the history of American collectors of Asian art, this lecture suggests how the stories of Morgan and Freer relate to collectors of Chinese ceramics today.

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