Since the second century BCE, the so-called “Silk Road” stretched for thousands of miles from eastern China to the Black Sea, thus linking the great civilizations of east Asia with those of southwest Asia and, thereby, to Europe. In later centuries the trade and cultural influences that flowed back and forth on land were transferred to the sea, as maritime shipping eventually came to dominate world commerce. The superb examples of Chinese ceramics featured in this exhibition were prized at home and treasured abroad, where they were indeed rarities until the mid-18th century.
Featuring more than seventy pieces of porcelain, stoneware, and carved jade from the permanent collection of the Norton Museum of Art, On the Silk Road and the High Seas highlights the innovations and distinctive styles that arose as a result of this bountiful cross-cultural exchange. The exhibition follows both chronologically and geographically the paths of trade along the Silk Road by way of this exquisite selection of decorative arts.
On the Silk Road and the High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture, and Commerce was organized by the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida.