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Porcelain – White Gold

Exhibition  /  10 Jul 2009  -  25 Oct 2009
Published: 29.06.2009
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Intro
Thanks to its hardness and insulating properties, the material moreover conquered industry and medicine. In the course of time, it was also used in manufacturing cars and electronics and, today, even for spacecraft. The transparency of the material has long fascinated designers and artists as well.
According to recent research, porcelain was already fired in China around BC 1300. In the 13th century, so-called “china” reached Europe and was in many respects considered such a treasure that it was called “white gold”. In Baroque times, it was a coveted luxury good and adorned many a cabinet of European royalty. Until then it had been imported in large quantities from China, but by then people here made every effort to establish their own manufacture and production. At the beginning of the 18th century, they finally achieved a breakthrough and porcelain was, for the first time, also produced in Europe, or more precisely, in Meissen, whose porcelain factory will celebrate its 300 Year Jubilee in 2010.
Porcelain is a luxury good that, to this very day, people spend quite a lot on. Tableware as well as representative and unique works were popular gifts among the aristocracy and this very fact changed culinary and dining habits. Factories such as Meissen, Nymphenburg, Hutschenreuther, or the world-famous Hungarian Herend Manufactory had their heydays in the 19th century. While porcelain was once reserved to aristocratic circles, its use and renown completely changed with the onset of industrialization: porcelain had reached middle-class sitting rooms. Once the precious luxury goods at royal courts, it now turned into mass goods. Today, old designs of these times are once again produced.
Thanks to its hardness and insulating properties, the material moreover conquered industry and medicine. In the course of time, it was also used in manufacturing cars and electronics and, today, even for spacecraft. The transparency of the material has long fascinated designers and artists as well. An entire genre of art such as porcelain figurines that, after its heyday in the 18th century, once again experienced a notable revival in the Art Nouveau, once again seems to experience a revival now thanks to new interpretations but also thanks to new techniques used in artists’ studios. It is fascinating to see what possibilities this material offers.-2016-2016
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