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The Boom and Doom of Peach Blossom: Perception of China's Copper Red Glazed Porcelain in the Gilded Age
The Baltimore tycoon and art collector William Walters (1820-1894) found himself in the center of a publicity storm after he purchased the “peach blossom vase,” a piece of eighteenth-century Chinese porcelain in copper red glaze, from the auction of late Mary Morgan’s collection on March 8, 1886. He paid $18,000 for the vase and made it the most expensive Chinese porcelain in the country, but it left a permanent scar on the millionaire’s reputation. For several years the public debated over the actual value of the artifact and Walters’s judgment. As a result, the “peach blossom vase” was never featured in the Walters gallery, and its signature wooden stand was removed from the illustration of the vase in the catalogue of the Walters collection published in 1899. Ying-chen Peng studies the gendered dimension of the making, moving, and collecting of objects and space through the global and intersectional lens. Before joining the American University, she worked at the National Palace Museum and the Academia Sinica, both in Taiwan, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a pre-doctoral research fellow and received her Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2014. Peng published extensively on imperial women’s engagement in late Qing court art.


Nov 28, 2022 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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