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Athens, Etruria, and the Many Lives of Greek Figured Pottery
Sheramy D. Bundrick
University of Wisconsin Press, 2021
A lucrative trade in Athenian pottery flourished from the early sixth until the late fifth century B.C.E., finding an eager market in Etruria. Most studies of these painted vases focus on the artistry and worldview of the Greeks who made them, but Sheramy D. Bundrick shifts attention to their Etruscan customers, ancient trade networks, and archaeological contexts.

Thousands of Greek painted vases have emerged from excavations of tombs, sanctuaries, and settlements throughout Etruria, from southern coastal centers to northern communities in the Po Valley. Using documented archaeological assemblages, especially from tombs in southern Etruria, Bundrick challenges the widely held assumption that Etruscans were hellenized through Greek imports. She marshals evidence to show that Etruscan consumers purposefully selected figured pottery that harmonized with their own local needs and customs, so much so that the vases are better described as etruscanized. Athenian ceramic workers, she contends, learned from traders which shapes and imagery sold best to the Etruscans and employed a variety of strategies to maximize artistry, output, and profit.

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Catawba Valley Mississippian
Ceramics, Chronology, and Catawba Indians
David G. Moore
University of Alabama Press, 2002
An excellent example of ethnohistory and archaeology working together, this model study reveals the origins of the Catawba Indians of North Carolina

By the 18th century, the modern Catawba Indians were living along the river and throughout the valley that bears their name near the present North Carolina-South Carolina border, but little was known of their history and origins. With this elegant study, David Moore proposes a model that bridges the archaeological record of the protohistoric Catawba Valley with written accounts of the Catawba Indians from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, thus providing an ethnogenesis theory for these Native Americans.

Because the Catawba Confederacy had a long tradition of pottery making, dating ceramics and using them for temporal control was central to establishing a regional cultural chronology. Moore accomplishes this with a careful, thorough review and analysis of disparate data from the whole valley. His archaeological discoveries support documentary evidence of 16th century Spaniards in the region interacting with the resident Indians. By tracking the Spanish routes through the Catawba River valley and comparing their reported interactions with the native population with known archaeological sites and artifacts, he provides a firm chronological and spatial framework for Catawba Indian prehistory.

With excellent artifact photographs and data-rich appendixes, this book is a model study that induces us to contemplate a Catawba genesis and homeland more significant than traditionally supposed. It will appeal to professional archaeologists concerned with many topics—Mississippian, Lamar, early historic Indians, de Soto, Pardo, and chiefdom studies—as well as to the broader public interested in the archaeology of the Carolinas.

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Ceramic Petrography and Hopewell Interaction
James B. Stoltman
University of Alabama Press, 2015
A highly innovative study in which James B. Stoltman uses petrography to reveal previously undetectable evidence of cultural interaction among Hopewell societies of the Ohio Valley region and the contemporary peoples of the Southeast

Petrography is the microscopic examination of thin sections of pottery to determine their precise mineralogical composition. In this groundbreaking work, James B. Stoltman applies quantitative as well as qualitative methods to the petrography of Native American ceramics. As explained in Ceramic Petrography and Hopewell Interaction, by adapting refinements to the technique of petrography, Stoltman offers a powerful new set of tools that enables fact-based and rigorous identification of the composition and sources of pottery.
Stoltman’s subject is the cultural interaction among the Hopewell Interaction Sphere societies of the Ohio Valley region and contemporary peoples of the Southeast. Inferring social and commercial relationships between disparate communities by determining whether objects found in one settlement originated there or elsewhere is a foundational technique of archaeology. The technique, however, rests on the informed but necessarily imperfect visual inspection of objects by archaeologists. Petrography greatly amplifies archaeologists’ ability to determine objects’ provenance with greater precision and less guesswork.
Using petrography to study a vast quantity of pottery samples sourced from Hopewell communities, Stoltman is able for the first time to establish which items are local, which are local but atypical, and which originated elsewhere. Another exciting possibility with petrography is to further determine the home source of objects that came from afar. Thus, combining traditional qualitative techniques with a wealth of new quantitative data, Ceramic Petrography and Hopewell Interaction offers a map of social and trade relationships among communities within and beyond the Hopewell Interaction Sphere with much greater precision and confidence than in the past.
Ceramic Petrography and Hopewell Interaction provides a clear and concise explanation of petrographic methods, Stoltman’s findings about Hopewell and southeastern ceramics in various sites, and the fascinating discovery that visits to Hopewell centers by southeastern Native Americans were not only for trade purposes but more for such purposes as pilgrimages, vision- and power-questing, healing, and the acquisition of knowledge.

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Ceramics and Artifacts from Excavations in the Copan Residential Zone
Gordon R. Willey, Richard M. Leventhal, Arthur A. Demarest, and William L. Fash
Harvard University Press, 1994
This is the first of two volumes addressing the Harvard University excavations in an outlying residential zone of the Copan in Honduras. The book offers detailed descriptions of ceramics and all other artifacts during 1976–1977. The materials pertain largely to the Late Classic Period. Ceramics are presented according to the type-variety system.

front cover of Ceramics and Community Organization among the Hohokam
Ceramics and Community Organization among the Hohokam
David R. Abbott
University of Arizona Press, 2000
Among desert farmers of the prehistoric Southwest, irrigation played a crucial role in the development of social complexity. This innovative study examines the changing relationship between irrigation and community organization among the Hohokam and shows through ceramic data how that dynamic relationship influenced sociopolitical development.
David Abbott contends that reconstructions of Hohokam social patterns based solely on settlement pattern data provide limited insight into prehistoric social relationships. By analyzing ceramic exchange patterns, he provides complementary information that challenges existing models of sociopolitical organization among the Hohokam of central Arizona.

Through ceramic analyses from Classic period sites such as Pueblo Grande, Abbott shows that ceramic production sources and exchange networks can be determined from the composition, surface treatment attributes, and size and shape of clay containers. The distribution networks revealed by these analyses provide evidence for community boundaries and the web of social ties within them.

Abbott's meticulous research documents formerly unrecognized horizontal cohesiveness in Hohokam organizational structure and suggests how irrigation was woven into the fabric of their social evolution. By demonstrating the contribution that ceramic research can make toward resolving issues about community organization, this work expands the breadth and depth of pottery studies in the American Southwest.

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Ceramics, Chronology, and Community Patterns
An Archaeological Study at Moundville
Vincas P. Steponaitis
University of Alabama Press, 2009
A clearly written description of the analytical procedures employed on ceramic samples obtained at Moundville and the new chronology discovered

Moundville, located on the Black Warrior River in west-central Alabama, is one of the best known and most intensively studied archaeological sites in North America. Yet, in spite of all these investigations, many aspects of the site's internal chronology remained unknown until the original 1983 publication of this volume. The author embarked on a detailed study of Moundville ceramics housed in museums and collections, and hammered out a new chronology for Moundville.This volume is a clearly written description of the analytical procedures employed on these ceramic samples and the new chronology this study revealed. Using the refined techniques outlined in this volume, it was possible for the author to trace changes in community patterns, which in turn shed light on Moundville's internal development and its place among North America's ancient cultures.


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Cultural Transmission and Material Culture
Breaking Down Boundaries
Edited by Miriam T. Stark, Brenda J. Bowser, and Lee Horne
University of Arizona Press, 2008
How and why people develop, maintain, and change cultural boundaries through time are central issues in the social and behavioral sciences in generaland anthropological archaeology in particular. What factors influence people to imitate or deviate from the behaviors of other group members? How are social group boundaries produced, perpetuated, and altered by the cumulative outcomeof these decisions? Answering these questions is fundamental to understanding cultural persistence and change. The chapters included in this stimulating, multifaceted book address these questions.

Working in several subdisciplines, contributors report on research in the areas of cultural boundaries, cultural transmission, and the socially organized nature of learning. Boundaries are found not only within and between the societies in these studies but also within and between the communities of scholars who study them. To break down these boundaries, this volume includes scholars who use multiple theoretical perspectives, including practice theory and evolutionary traditions, which are sometimes complementary and occasionally clashing. Geographic coverage ranges from the indigenous Americas to Africa, the Near East, and South Asia, and the time frame extends from the prehistoric or precontact to colonial periods and up to the ethnographic present. Contributors include leading scholars from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Together, they employ archaeological, ethnographic, ethnoarchaeological,experimental, and simulation data to link micro-scale processes of cultural transmission to macro-scale processes of social group boundary formation, continuity, and change.

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The Grain of the Clay
Reflections on Ceramics and the Art of Collecting
Allen S. Weiss
Reaktion Books, 2016
Ceramics give pleasure to our everyday lives, from the beauty of a vase’s elegant curves to the joy of a meal served upon a fine platter. Ceramics originate in a direct engagement with the earth and maintain a unique place in the history of the arts. In this book, Allen S. Weiss sharpens our perception of and increases our appreciation for ceramics, all the while providing a critical examination of how and why we collect them.
            Weiss examines the vast stylistic range of ceramics and investigates both the theoretical and personal reasons for viewing, using, and collecting them. Relating ceramics to other arts and practices—especially those surrounding food—he explores their different uses such as in the celebrated tea ceremony of Japan. Most notably, he considers how works previously viewed as crafts have found their rightful way into museums, as well as how this new-found engagement with finely wrought natural materials may foster an increased ecological sensitivity. The result is a wide-ranging and sensitive look at a crucial part of our material culture.

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High Uinta Trails
John Veranth
University of Utah Press, 1998
 An indispensable resource for selecting a destination and planning a trip in the High Uintas.

High Uinta Wilderness—three emotion-charged words that describe a very precious place. The highest mountains, the unique alpine ecosystem, and the largest designated Wilderness in Utah are all found here.

This is a complete rewriting of the original High Uinta Trails, first published in 1974. Access road and land management information has been expanded, new areas and routes have been added, and trail conditions have been completely updated.

The descriptions of the trails, lakes, ridges, and summits are an indispensable resource for selecting a destination and planning a trip but there are still plenty of undocumented places in the Uintas to explore.

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Integrative Approaches in Ceramic Petrography
Edited by Mary Ownby, Isabelle Druc, and Maria Masucci
University of Utah Press, 2016

Ceramic petrography, a microscopic examination of the mineral content and structure within ceramic thin sections, reveals the origin and movement of pottery and sheds light on the technology of the artifact. Practiced by archaeologists since the 1930s, ceramic petrography was less commonly practiced until recently. Integrative Approaches in Ceramic Petrography highlights new results from this field and incorporates it prominently within current archaeological work.

Thirteen papers cover a broad spectrum of regional and temporal contexts with case studies that provide practical examples combining petrography with scientific, ethnographic, and experimental methods. The varied uses of ceramic petrography and the insights it has generated, illustrate the significance of this method for understanding past societies and the volume’s conclusion provides an astute overview of the field. 


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Iznik Ceramics at the Benaki Museum
John Carswell, Mina Moraitou, and Melanie Gibson
Gingko, 2023
The first publication to feature the full collection of Iznik ceramics at the Benaki Museum in Athens.

The Benaki Museum of Islamic Art in Athens has a substantial collection of Iznik ceramics, intricate works created in the city of Iznik in Asia Minor that are decorated with vibrant colors and designs. Although well known to many who visit the museum, this collection—which includes tableware, tiles, and sherds—has never before been published in its entirety.
Archaeologist, scholar, and curator John Carswell first began studying and cataloging these objects in the 1980s. This project has since been revived and guided to fruition by the curator of the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art, Mina Moraitou, who has also contributed a chapter on the Museum’s founder Antonis Benakis and the formation of its Iznik collection. The catalog brings together these admired and sought-after ceramics, featuring over three hundred illustrations of pieces from the Museum’s collection.

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Live Form
Women, Ceramics, and Community
Jenni Sorkin
University of Chicago Press, 2016
Ceramics had a far-reaching impact in the second half of the twentieth century, as its artists worked through the same ideas regarding abstraction and form as those for other creative mediums. Live Form shines new light on the relation of ceramics to the artistic avant-garde by looking at the central role of women in the field: potters who popularized ceramics as they worked with or taught male counterparts like John Cage, Peter Voulkos, and Ken Price.

Sorkin focuses on three Americans who promoted ceramics as an advanced artistic medium: Marguerite Wildenhain, a Bauhaus-trained potter and writer; Mary Caroline (M. C.) Richards, who renounced formalism at Black Mountain College to pursue new performative methods; and Susan Peterson, best known for her live throwing demonstrations on public television. Together, these women pioneered a hands-on teaching style and led educational and therapeutic activities for war veterans, students, the elderly, and many others. Far from being an isolated field, ceramics offered a sense of community and social engagement, which, Sorkin argues, crucially set the stage for later participatory forms of art and feminist collectivism.

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Main Ridge Community At Lost City
Virgin Anazazi Architecture, Ceramics, and Burials
Margaret Lyneis
University of Utah Press, 1992

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Picture Worlds
Storytelling on Greek, Moche, and Maya Pottery
David Saunders
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2024
This abundantly illustrated volume is the first to explore the painted pottery of the ancient Greek, Moche, and Maya cultures side by side.

Satyrs and sphinxes, violent legumes, and a dancing maize deity figure in the stories painted on the pottery produced by the ancient Greek, Moche, and Maya cultures, respectively. Picture Worlds is the first book to examine the elaborately decorated terracotta vessels of these three distinct civilizations. Although the cultures were separated by space and time, they all employed pottery as a way to tell stories, explain the world, and illustrate core myths and beliefs. Each of these painted pots is a picture world. But why did these communities reach for pottery as a primary method of visual communication? How were the vessels produced and used? In this book, experts offer introductions to the civilizations, exploring these foundational questions and examining the painted imagery. Readers will be rewarded with a better understanding of each of these ancient societies, fascinating insights into their cultural commonalities and differences, and fresh perspectives on image making and storytelling, practices that remain vibrant to this day.

This volume is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa from April 10 to July 29, 2024, and at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University from September 14 to December 15, 2024.

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The Potters’ Perspectives
A Vibrant Chronological Narrative of Ceramic Manufacturing Practices in the Valley of Juigalpa, Chontales, Nicaragua (cal 300 CE–present)
Natalia R. Donner
Leiden University Press, 2020
The work of Fernand Braudel (1902–1985) should have revolutionized the way the field of archaeology thinks about the passage of time and constructs narratives throughout it. Braudel’s more general theories deeply affected archaeological theory, yet his three different timescales, as well as his insights into duration as the inner dialectic between different temporalities, remain largely unexplored by practicing archaeologists. Even today, ceramic chronology-building in archaeology still relies on two main variables: time-space and pottery styles. This book seeks to upset that paradigm,  proposing instead a radical new approach to creating chronology. This endeavor begins in the valley of Juigalpa, in central Nicaragua, using materials—especially ceramics—as complex palimpsests, through which a chronology that includes five different intervals based on ceramic technologies is presented, from the first traces of human practices in 300 CE through to the present.


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Pottery Analysis
A Sourcebook
Prudence M. Rice
University of Chicago Press, 1987
Pottery Analysis is a rich and comprehensive sourcebook that draws together diverse approaches to the study of pottery—archaeological, ethnographic, stylistic, functional, and physicochemical. Using pottery as a starting point for insights into people and culture, Prudence M. Rice examines in detail the methods for studying the fired clay vessels used worldwide from prehistoric times to present.

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Pottery Analysis, Second Edition
A Sourcebook
Prudence M. Rice
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Just as a single pot starts with a lump of clay, the study of a piece’s history must start with an understanding of its raw materials. This principle is the foundation of Pottery Analysis, the acclaimed sourcebook that has become the indispensable guide for archaeologists and anthropologists worldwide. By grounding current research in the larger history of pottery and drawing together diverse approaches to the study of pottery, it offers a rich, comprehensive view of ceramic inquiry.

This new edition fully incorporates more than two decades of growth and diversification in the fields of archaeological and ethnographic study of pottery. It begins with a summary of the origins and history of pottery in different parts of the world, then examines the raw materials of pottery and their physical and chemical properties. It addresses ethnographic and ethnoarchaeological perspectives on pottery production; reviews the methods of studying pottery’s physical, mechanical, thermal, mineralogical, and chemical properties; and discusses how proper analysis of artifacts can reveal insights into their culture of origin. Intended for use in the classroom, the lab, and out in the field, this essential text offers an unparalleled basis for pottery research.

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Precious beyond Measure
A History of Korean Ceramics
Beth McKillop and Jane Portal
Reaktion Books
An illustrated history of Korean ceramics from ancient origins to today.
This book is a captivating, richly illustrated history of fired clay in Korea, spanning ancient times to the present day. Drawing on the latest research, this book features a wide range of examples from archaeological sites and museums. In addition, it offers a rare glimpse into the world of modern North Korean ceramics. The authors devote substantial chapters to the refined celadons of the Goryeo and porcelains of the Joseon dynasties (tenth to twentieth centuries), as well as an array of blue-and-white vessels. Merging maritime archaeology, textual evidence, and kiln excavation reports, this overview reveals a remarkable and enduring ceramic tradition in Korea.

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Shapely Bodies
The Image of Porcelain in Eighteenth-Century France
Christine A. Jones
University of Delaware Press, 2013

Shapely Bodies: The Image of Porcelain in Eighteenth-Century France constructs the first cultural history of porcelain making in France. It takes its title from two types of “bodies” treated in this study: the craft of porcelain making shaped clods of earth into a clay body to produce high-end commodities and the French elite shaped human bodies into social subjects with the help of makeup, stylish patterns, and accessories. These practices crossed paths in the work of artisans, whose luxury objects reflected and also influenced the curves of fashion in the eighteenth century.

French artisans began trials to reproduce fine Chinese porcelain in the 1660s. The challenge proved impossible until they found an essential ingredient, kaolin, in French soil in the 1760s. Shapely Bodies differs from other studies of French porcelain in that it does not begin in the 1760s at the Sèvres manufactory when it became technically possible to produce fine porcelain in France, but instead ends there. Without the secret of Chinese porcelain, artisans in France turned to radical forms of experimentation. Over the first half of the eighteenth century, they invented artificial alternatives to Chinese porcelain, decorated them with French style, and, with equal determination, shaped an identity for their new trade that distanced it from traditional guild-crafts and aligned it with scientific invention. The back story of porcelain making before kaolin provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of artisanal innovation and cultural mythmaking.

To write artificial porcelain into a history of “real” porcelain dominated by China, Japan, and Meissen in Saxony, French porcelainiers learned to describe their new commodity in language that tapped into national pride and the mythic power of French savoir faire. Artificial porcelain cut such a fashionable image that by the mid-eighteenth century, Louis XV appropriated it for the glory of the crown. When the monarchy ended, revolutionaries reclaimed French porcelain, the fruit of a century of artisanal labor, for the Republic. Tracking how the porcelain arts were depicted in documents and visual arts during one hundred years of experimentation, Shapely Bodies reveals the politics behind the making of French porcelain’s image.

Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.

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The Swarts Ruin
A Typical Mimbres Site in Southwestern New Mexico, With a New Introduction by Steven A. LeBlanc
H. S. Cosgrove and C. Burton Cosgrove
Harvard University Press, 2011

This classic volume on the evocative and enigmatic pottery of the Mimbres people has become an irreplaceable design catalogue for contemporary Native American artists. Burt and Harriet (Hattie) Cosgrove were self-trained archaeologists who began excavating Mimbres materials in 1919. When their meticulous research came to the attention of Alfred V. Kidder of the Peabody Museum, he invited them to direct the Mimbres Valley Expedition at the Swarts Ranch in southern New Mexico on behalf of the Peabody.

Working in the summers of 1924 to 1927, the Cosgroves recovered nearly 10,000 artifacts at the Swarts site, including an extraordinary assemblage of Mimbres ceramics. Like their original 1932 report, this paperbound facsimile edition includes over 700 of Hattie Cosgrove’s beautiful line drawings of individual Mimbres pots. It also presents a new introduction by archaeologist Steven A. LeBlanc, who reviews the eighty years of research on the Mimbres that have followed the Cosgroves’ groundbreaking study. The Peabody’s reissue of The Swarts Ruin once again makes available a rich resource for scholars, artists, and admirers of Native American art, and it places in historical context the Cosgroves’ many contributions to North American archaeology.


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Imagining the Afterlife in Ancient South Italian Vase Painting
David Saunders
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2022
Abundantly illustrated, this essential volume examines depictions of the Underworld in southern Italian vase painting and explores the religious and cultural beliefs behind them.

What happens to us when we die? What might the afterlife look like? For the ancient Greeks, the dead lived on, overseen by Hades in the Underworld. We read of famous sinners, such as Sisyphus, forever rolling his rock, and the fierce guard dog Kerberos, who was captured by Herakles. For mere mortals, ritual and religion offered possibilities for ensuring a happy existence in the beyond, and some of the richest evidence for beliefs about death comes from southern Italy, where the local Italic peoples engaged with Greek beliefs. Monumental funerary vases that accompanied the deceased were decorated with consolatory scenes from myth, and around forty preserve elaborate depictions of Hades’s domain.

For the first time in over four decades, these compelling vase paintings are brought together in one volume, with detailed commentaries and ample illustrations. The catalogue is accompanied by a series of essays by leading experts in the field, which provides a framework for understanding these intriguing scenes and their contexts. Topics include attitudes toward the afterlife in Greek ritual and myth, inscriptions on leaves of gold that provided guidance for the deceased, funerary practices and religious beliefs in Apulia, and the importance accorded to Orpheus and Dionysos. Drawing from a variety of textual and archaeological sources, this volume is an essential source for anyone interested in religion and belief in the ancient Mediterranean.

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The Yorkshire Tea Ceremony
W. A. Ismay and His Collection of British Studio Pottery
Helen Walsh
Paul Holberton Publishing, 2021
The remarkable collection of the UK’s most prolific collector of postwar British studio pottery.

In the latter half of the twentieth century, “professional Yorkshireman” W. A. Ismay (1910–2001) amassed over 3,600 pieces by more than 500 potters. Surrounded by his family of pots, he lived in a tiny terraced house in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and left his collection and its associated archive to the city of York upon his death. This eclectic group of works contains objects created by many of the most significant potters working in the United Kingdom, including Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Bernard Leach, and Michael Cardew, as well as lesser-known makers. 

With new academic research into this little-studied collection and archive, Yorkshire Tea Ceremony explores Ismay’s journey as a collector and offers fresh perspectives on a marginalized area of British Modernism. Tracing the collection’s journey from private to public ownership illuminates issues surrounding the acquisition and reveals the transformative effect it has had on both curatorial practice and the ambition of regional public institutions. The W. A. Ismay Collection offers a well-documented example of the valuable contribution collectors can make to the British studio ceramics movement.

Published to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the collection’s move from private to public ownership, this volume accompanies an exhibition at York Art Gallery’s Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA).

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Zen Landscapes
Perspectives on Japanese Gardens and Ceramics
Allen S. Weiss
Reaktion Books, 2013
 The essential elements of a dry Japanese garden are few: rocks, gravel, moss. Simultaneously a sensual matrix, a symbolic form, and a memory theater, these gardens exhibit beautiful miniaturization and precise craftsmanship. But their apparent minimalism belies a true complexity. In Zen Landscapes, Allen S. Weiss takes readers on an exciting journey through these exquisite sites, explaining how Japanese gardens must be approached according to the play of scale, surroundings, and seasons, as well as in relation to other arts—revealing them as living landscapes rather than abstract designs.
Weiss shows that these gardens are inspired by the Zen aesthetics of the tea ceremony, manifested in poetry, painting, calligraphy, architecture, cuisine, and ceramics. Japanese art favors suggestion and allusion, valuing the threshold between the distinct and the inchoate, between figuration and abstraction, and he argues that ceramics play a crucial role here, relating as much to the site-specificity of landscape as to the ritualized codes of the tea ceremony and the everyday gestures of the culinary table.
With more than one hundred stunning color photographs, Zen Landscapes is the first in-depth study in the West to examine the correspondences between gardens and ceramics. A fascinating look at landscape art and its relation to the customs and craftsmanship of the Japanese arts, it will appeal to readers interested in landscape design and Japan’s art and culture.

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