Shaped With A Passion: The Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Collection Of Japanese Ceramics From The 1970s

April 12 - May 28, 2000
Contact: Patrick Maveety, Curator of Asian Art, 650-723Ð4178; or Jill Osaka, Public Relations Manager, 650-725-4657.

STANFORD, CA FEBRUARY 2000—The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University will present an exhibition of 120 Japanese ceramics selected from the collection of the late Carl A. Weyerhaeuser of Milton, Massachusetts. The pieces were created primarily in 1972 and 1973 and purchased at that time during visits by the collector and his advisors to the 63 potters represented.

The exhibition opens on April 12 and will consist mainly of stoneware that reflect the taste of masters of the tea ceremony. They represent a moment in time when Japanese ceramic artists still maintained the unselfconscious traditions established in the 17th century. Two terms are associated with the Japanese esthetic of the tea ceremony: wabi, a form of beauty based on simplicity, austerity and imperfection and sabi, which refers to the changed quality of an object through time and use, like a patina acquired from use or worn surfaces. Sometimes today these terms are combined as wabi/sabi to indicate a preference for simple understatement.

Carl Weyerhaeuser's interest in Japanese art grew from visits to Japan in 1966 and 1970 and was further developed by a friendship with the curator of Asian art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Weyerhaeuser became increasingly interested in non-traditional forms of ceramics and bought several pieces including some that are in the current exhibition. This new direction set the tone for the second trip during which a greater emphasis was placed on non-traditional ceramics. Weyerhaeuser always preferred the rougher clay of the stoneware pieces so there are few examples of refined white porcelain in his collection. The collection was assembled with the help of Louise Allison Cort, now curator of ceramics at the Freer and Sackler galleries of the Smithsonian Institution, and Samuel C. Morse, then a student but now a professor at Amherst College and guest curator of the exhibition.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Louise Cort will present an illustrated lecture on Thursday, April 13 at 4:30 in the Cantor Arts Center Auditorium. The lecture will feature her 1973 trip to complete the collection and describe the diversity of the potters represented in the exhibition. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 126-page fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Cort, Morse, and William T. Thrasher, an expert in the tea ceremony.

The Cantor Arts Center is pleased to announce a new partnership with Macy*s West to promote its exhibitions and children's programs. The first collaboration will focus on the Center's Japanese Ceramics exhibition and its related ceramics program and Macy*s 53rd Annual Spring Flower Show in Union Square on April 14-29. Ceramic work created by children in this program will go on display at Macy*s, Stanford Shopping Center during the run of the exhibition.