Special Exhibition The Dramatic Vessel

Ceramic vessels are created and used in daily life all over the world. The vessel is truly a symbol of ceramics. In contemporary ceramic art, the vessel has also moved beyond a purely functional role to become an expressive theme for ceramic beauty.

In England Bernard Leach pioneered the pursuit of a fusion of function and beauty. Lucie Rie and others followed, broadening the role of the vessel from the realm of simple function to one of fascination and beauty. In the postwar era, each country took its own path; along with the individuality of the artists, the character of each culture is reflected in the vessels created.

In this exhibition, we hope you will be able to experience the dramatic beauty expressed in vessels created by the world’s ceramic artists.

Scene 1   From Vessels to Beauty / England

Bernard Leach / Lucie Rie / Hans Coper / Alison Britton / Elizabeth Fritsch / Carol McNicoll / Grayson Perry / Dorothy Feibleman / Ken Eastman / Angus Suttie / Gordon Baldwin / Mary Rogers / Martin Smith / Ewen Henderson / Richard Slee / Lawson Oyekan / Sarah Scampton / Karen Densham / Jennifer Lee

Scene 2   The Beauty of Plans / United States

Peter Voulkos / Rudy Autio / Warren MacKenzie / Marilyn Levine / Kenneth Price / Ron Nagle / Adrian Saxe / Ralph Bacerra / Rudolf Staffel / Betty Woodman / Adam Silverman

 Scene 3   Utility x Art – Teapots / United States, Canada

Philip Cornelius / Ann Kraus / Beatrice Wood / Akio Takamori / Richard Notkin / Harris Deller / Jerry Berta / John de Fazio / Lidya Buzio / Chris Gustin / Cindy Kolodziejski / James Lawton / Anthony Bennett / Steven Montgomery / Amy Sabrina / Kurt Weiser / Leopold Foulem / Paul Mathieu

Scene 4   Homage to Still Life Artist Morandi / Australia

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Scene 5   Scandinavia – Ceramics and Design / Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway

Bente Hansen(Denmark) / Bodil Manz(Denmark) / Morten Løbner Espersen(Denmark) / Inger Rokkjӕr(Denmark) / Arne Åse(Norway) / Stig Lindberg(Sweden) / Birger Kaipiainen(Finland) / Pekka Paikkari(Finland) / Kati Tuominen-Niittylä(Finland) / Heini Riitahuhta (Finland)

Scene 6   The Beauty of Clay, the Beauty of Glaze / Spain, Switzerland

Claudi Casanovas(Spain) / Eduard Chapallaz(Switzerland)

Scene 7   Vessel Imagination / Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Czechoslovakia

Babs Haenen(Netherlands) / Irene Vonck(Netherlands) / Barbara Nanning(Netherlands) / Astrid Gerhartz(Germany) / Ursula Scheid(Germany) / Jochen Brandt(Germany) / Vladimir Groh + Yasuyo Nishida(Czech Republic) / Rosemarie Benedikt(Austria) / Philippe Barde(Switzerland) / Ingrid Alik(Estonia)

Scene 8   Vessels Projecting Identity / Taiwan, Ghana

Ching Yuan, Chang(Taiwan)  / James Kwame Amoah(Ghana)

Scene 9   The Quiet Beauty of Vessels, the Magic of Technique / Japan

Tomimoto Kenkichi / Hamada Shoji / Tokuda Yasokichi / Ogawa Machiko / Yagi Akira / Kimura Yoshiro / Nagae Shigekazu / Yamada Akira / Kondo Takahiro / Kuwata Takuro / Niisato Akio / Fukumoto Fuku / Koyama Kenichi


Rudolf Staffel
“Light Gatherer”

Irene Vonck
“Curacao Collection”
own by Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu


Special Exhibition “The Colorful World of Ceramics”
Tuesday, June 20 – Sunday, September 24, 2017

From ancient times, colors have stimulated our senses and had a great influence on the culture of each generation and geographical region. In ceramic art, a rich world of color is achieved by firing clay and glaze. Along with form and pattern, color is an indispensable element of the fascination of ceramic art. Everyone has their own feelings about colors. Through the colorful expressions of contemporary ceramics, we are able to receive the various messages artists communicate in their work. In this exhibition, we explore the rich world of color in the works from our collection created by contemporary ceramic artists from Japan and around the world, explaining materials and techniques along the way.


Ugo Nespolo
“Tosto & Arrosto”

Miyashita, Zenji


Special Exhibition “Stylish Old Imari – Pottery Designed to Edo Tastes”
Sunday, October 1 – Sunday, December 17, 2017

 The first porcelain to be fired in Japan, Old Imari ware originated about 400 years ago in Hizen Arita (present-day Arita-cho, Nishimatsuura-gun, Saga Prefecture). At first the use of porcelain ware was restricted to the upper classes, but in the 19th century it spread to common people, particularly in the cities. At the same time, the Genroku culture that originated in Kyoto and Osaka reached Edo in the 19th century. A free and flamboyant culture of the common class, exemplified by kabuki and ukiyo-e, came into vogue with people enjoying the “stylish” Edo culture. It was in this period that the basics of modern Japanese cuisine were established, giving rise to a variety of pottery, not only for daily life but as accoutrements for more ostentatious parties as well. In this exhibition we introduce the public for the first time to a collection of old Imari ware, focusing on the stylish ware favored by the people of Edo and the surprising world of design to be found there.


18 century the previous fiscal year
©Toyama Takayuki

19 century the previous fiscal year
©Toyama Takayuki


Special Exhibition “Feeling the Jazz Spirit – The Ceramic Art of Kumakura Junkichi and 21st Century Artists”
Saturday, March 10 – Sunday, June 17, 2018

For avant-garde ceramic art, the postwar era was a time of energetic artists eagerly looking toward a new generation. Kumakura Junkichi was one of these artists; absorbing the spirit of his time in jazz music, art, and the warmth of handmade objects, he created a variety of works. This exhibition introduces the vessels and sculptural work of Kumakura Junkichi, who, in a time of high interest in craft design, was influenced greatly by the stimulation he found in the pottery town of Shigaraki as he sought to bring about a new era in ceramic art. We also present the work of young contemporary artists who, exposed to Kumakura’s spirit, are reexamining the 21st century as they create their work.


KUMAKURA, Junkichi
In the late 1950s