ONLINE lecture series 4

Born from the Earth:

Japan’s Yakishime Ceramics
TUesDAY, february 20, 2024
7:00PM-7:40PM (PT)



The term “yakishime” refers to the firing of unglazed clay vessels at a high temperature so that the clay vitrifies, creating water-proof and durable stoneware ceramics. With no colorful glaze or painted designs, this ceramic type may seem simple or “primitive,” but Japan’s yakishime wares are some of the country’s most admired and valuable ceramics. The scorch marks of Bizen ware, the feldspar speckles of Shigaraki ware, and the warm, earthy tones of Tokoname ware have made these wares beloved in the tea ceremony and collected widely for centuries. 

In conjunction with Japan Foundation's video series, Doors to the Arts of Japan, Japanese art historian Meher McArthur will introduce yakishime ceramics from several traditional ceramic-producing regions and explore reasons for their enduring popularity in Japan and beyond. The short lecture will be followed with a brief Q&A session.

About the lecturer

Meher McArthur
Meher McArthur is an Asian art historian specializing in Japanese art, with degrees from Cambridge University and London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She was Curator of East Asian Art at Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA (1998-2006) and for over a decade has curated traveling exhibitions for International Arts & Artists (IA&A), most recently Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper (2021-2024) on view at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego until January 7, 2024. Her most recent exhibition SHIKI: The Four Seasons in Japanese Art opened at the Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens in February 2023. She was Creative Director for the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden, Pasadena (2014-2020), Academic Curator for Scripps College, Claremont (2018-2020) and Art and Cultural Director for JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles (2020-2022). Her major publications include Gods and Goblins: Folk Paintings from Otsu (PAM, 1999), Reading Buddhist Art (Thames & Hudson, 2002) and The Arts of Asia (Thames & Hudson, 2005), Confucius (Pegasus Books, 2011), Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (IA&A, 2012), New Expressions in Origami Art (Tuttle, 2017), Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper  (IA&A, 2021) and An ABC of What Art Can Be (The Getty Museum, 2010).


More yakishime stories?Check our video seires:
Doors to Arts of JAPAN

YAKISHIME : Exquisite Wares Created from Clay and Fire

Enjoy discovering the world of Yakishime, simple yet profoundly tasteful ceramics that are also imbued with a level of practicality. Click Here!

The last ONLINE LECTURE SERIES will be about MUSEUMS.  It will be held on Thursday, March 21.

Event Details:

  • Date Feb 20 , 2024
  • Hours 7PM-7:40PM (PT)
  • Venue Online
  • Admission Free, Registration Required
  • Inquiries 323-761-7510

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