The gallery of Chinese export Art and Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum is the first permanent display in Europe to be devoted to the artefacts made in China for western customers. The Museum` s superb holdings of ceramics, textiles, furniture, carving, lacquer and painting include examples dating from the earliest period of European contact with China in the sixteenth century, through to the early twentieth century. As well as the good produced in bulk to satisfy the growing western market, the collection contains luxurious special commissions. These are often decorated with European subject matter and testify to China `s leading role in stimulating new trends in art and design in the West.
This book treats export art and design from a new standpoint. It is discussed in the context of its production in the highly developed craft market within China. The mechanisms of trade, and of the transmission of design across cultural frontiers are here presented in an original and informative manner , richly illustrated in over eighty colour pages.
The book and the permanent gallery are made possible through the generosity of Mr Gerald Godfrey of Hong Kong.