The Frick Pittsburgh Presents A Kind of Alchemy: Medieval Persian Ceramics

Feb 21, 2013, 17:30 ET from Frick Art & Historical Center

Exhibition provides a beautiful and fascinating look at the diversity of ceramics made in ancient Persia

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Frick Art & Historical Center announces the opening of A Kind of Alchemy: Medieval Persian Ceramics, a rich and colorful exhibition of more than 60 objects made between the 10th and 14th centuries in Persia (what is now present-day Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan). Recognized today as one of the major artistic expressions from the lands of Islam, Medieval Persia's beautifully decorated luxury ceramics have been prized by collectors over the centuries, but little-known by the general public. The exhibition opens at The Frick Art Museum on Saturday, February 23, and will remain on view through June 16, 2013. Admission is free.

The exhibition examines the diversity of ceramics made in ancient Persia for both the luxury and middle-class markets. These vessels, bowls, pitchers, and bottles reflect a variety of cultural and artistic influences and an aesthetic sensibility that seems startlingly modern. The highly specialized artisans working in Medieval Persian production centers like Nishapur and Kashan (both located in what is now Iran) knew the technical secrets required to produce some of the most beautiful ceramics ever made. From hauling the finest clay more than 100 miles, to grinding quartz pebbles, burning plants to create potash, and knowing the secrets to producing lusterware, these artisans created works of lasting beauty and influence, exemplifying the sophistication of a prosperous urban culture.

Says Bill Bodine, director of the Frick Art & Historical Center, "This exhibition provides us with an opportunity to connect the influence of Islamic and Moorish design to interior decoration and decorative arts in our collections—at both The Frick Art Museum and Clayton— and to draw attention to the wider influence of Islamic design in the 19th and early 20th centuries." 

The Frick will offer a variety of public programs related to this exhibition. Details are available at

A Kind of Alchemy: Medieval Persian Ceramics was organized by the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, Ocala, FL. Exhibition tour management by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.

SOURCE Frick Art & Historical Center