Asian Art in London celebrates in style in the wake of Her Majesty!

20171109_195543 Roger Keverne, AAL Chairman (right), looks pleased as he makes a point at the Asian Art in London 20th Anniversary Gala Party held in the British Museum’s Joseph Hutong Gallery on Thursday evening.  Photo Paul Harris.

 

The AAL Gala Party is normally a glittering affair and the 20th Birthday Party held on Thursday probably excelled itself. Around 450 celebrants crowded into the newly renovated and redesigned Joseph Hutong Gallery of Chinese and South Asian Art at London’s British Museum. This was very much a preview. The Gallery does not fully open to the public until December and just one rather important visitor sprang in ahead of AAL the day previously, HM Queen Elizabeth II (and rightly so!).

So the surroundings were impeccable, the exhibits on show stunning and, as usual, the champagne flowed in unlimited quantities, fully justifying the £70 ticket price! All was in sharp contrast to last year’s event which took place in a cafeteria atmosphere in Chinatown.

AAL Chairman Roger Keverne, who will resign in December, at which time the Board of AAL will vote on his successor, compered and, in association with Director Virginia Sykes-Wright, introduced this year’s winners of the AAL Awards. The auctioneer section was shared by Bonhams, one of The Big Three, and Chiswick Auctions, which is emerging as a cheeky challenger to the giants – it has just opened up in South Ken and, in the wake of Christie’s abandoning its operations there, has adopted the acronym CSK. Eat your heart out, Christies!

In the dealer category, there was a very popular award to Priestley & Ferraro. David Priestley took the award which came directly as a result of their stunning display of Early Chinese Carved Cinnabar Lacquer entitled The Deeper Picture and which ran through AAL in the lower floor of their premises in St James’s.

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David Priestley clutches his well deserved Dealer Award at Thursday evening’s Asian Art in London 20th Birthday party. Pictured with Roger Keverne and the Editor of Apollo Magazine, Thomas Marks.    Photo Paul Harris

Asian Art in London is in full swing aged 20

The annual celebration Asian Art in London is currently in full swing and visitors are clearly enjoying the 20th anniversary of the event. Doubtless the 21st next year will be equally as enthusiastically celebrated, if not more!

There is the usual mix of private gallery exhibitions, open evenings, auctions of Asian art and public events. For some, the highlight is the champagne reception on the evening of Thursday November 9. This year it takes place in the auguste surroundings of The British Museum, in the newly inaugurated Joseph Hutong Gallery. This exhibition space seems bound to be a long lasting hit with Asian art lovers.

This weekend we shall be posting news and pictures from AAL.

Asian Art in London announces Gala Party for 2017

logo                                The organisers of Asian Art in London (AAL) have announced a prime location for the 2017 Gala Party: at the newly opened Hutong Gallery at the British Museum. It will take place on Thursday November 9 and, as usual, will be a strictly ticket-only event characterised by the free flow of champagne. This will be the 20th anniversary year for AAL and the BM will most likely be a rather more popular locus than last year’s Soho event which took place in somewhat Spartan surroundings.

AAL runs from November 2-11 2017. In a break from previous practice, the Gala Party will take place towards the end of the ten day event, rather than at the beginning. Those who would normally head to London for the beginning of AAL may now, rather, hang back so as to combine the meet and greet opportunities of the Gala Party with their daytime visits. It is possible that the organisers have made a decision to try and avoid the ‘tailing off’ of the event after the first seven days by holding back on the popular gathering.

There are no further details of exhibitors or events at this early stage.

ed-roger-keverne-declares-aal-2016-open Flashback to last year’s Gala Party addressed by Roger Keverne  Photo Paul Harris

John Henderson’s Chinese and Japanese collection

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Two photographs of John Henderson’s collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and pottery, taken in London,England, ca. 1868 by Cundall & Fleming.

Henderson (1797-1878) was a London-based art collector and in 1868 donated a series of 20 of these photographs to the South Kensington Museum (today the V&A) as a visual record his collection that ranged from Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. he was a great benefactor and left both his collection and photographs of them to institutions like The British Museum and The Victoria & Albert. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and although he read for the bar (legal) he devoted his life to archaeology and the collection of works of art. His collections, in his lifetime, were held at 3, Montague Street, in London’s Bloomsbury district. He never married and lived until the ripe old age of eighty (not necessarily a result of remaining unmarried). Upon his death, his will decreed that most of his oriental collection went to the British Museum.

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Source: Victoria & Albert Museum via Orientally Yours (Tumblr) Below: Iznik bottle vase in the collection of the British Museam

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Museums in the UK specialising in art of East Asia

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UK Museums Specialising in East Asian Art

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The National Museum of Scotland  Photo Paul Harris

A large number of museums in the UK boast relatively small collections of Asian art. This is a list of those museums with large and significant collections.

  BATH  The Museum of East Asian Art, 12 Bennett Street, boasts a large collection of objects based around the personal collection of Brian McElney, a solicitor who practised in Hong Kong: Chinese ceramics, metalware, jade and bamboo carvings.

CAMBRIDGE The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street  Founded in 1816 by Richard, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam is the art museum of the University of Cambridge.

COMPTON VERNEY  Compton Verney House, Compton Verney, Warwickshire boasts the largest collection of Chinese bronzes in the UK outside of London.

DURHAM  Durham University Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill  Opened in 1960, this museum is devoted to the arts of Imperial Japan, China and other East Asian countries. A recently opened gallery is dedicated to China in the 20th century. Exhibits on the Silk Route and the Imperial Court, as well as sculptures, ceramics, paintings and jades.

EDINBURGH  The National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street is located in the centre of the city and has been substantially refurbished in recent times. It boasts a large 5th floor gallery showcasing items from China, Japan and Korea. It has collected porcelain and other arts since the opening of the Museum in the middle of the 19th century. An important exhibition of Ming Dynasty art from June 27 2014.

GLASGOW  The Burrell Collection Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Road  The Burrell Collection is home to the vast number of artistic works (some 8,000)  put to together by shipping magnate Sir William Burrell. Includes a collection of Chinese Neolithic burial urns and other items.

HULL  Hull University Art Collection, Cottingham Road. An important collection of Chinese ceramics spanning the period 618-1850 on long-term loan from Dr & Mrs Peter Thompson. Unfortunately, the collection was closed to public view on June 8 2014 but is expected to reopen in September or October.

LONDON  The British Museum has a number of galleries specialising in the arts and archaeology of East Asia. It is an important collection much boosted by the acquisition of the 1700-piece Sir Percival David Collection of Chinese ceramics, which includes many items of Imperial quality. See our list of forthcoming/current exhibitions.

LONDON  The Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, possesses a substantial collection of Oriental art.

MAIDSTONE  The Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, St Faith’s Street Located in an Elizabethan manor house, the museum has a significant Japanese collection.

OXFORD  The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Beaumont Street  Possesses a very large collection of Chinese art and artefacts and benefits from its long term connection with the late Professor Michael Sullivan who has bequeathed his own extensive collection of Chinese paintings.

SONY DSC ‘Heaped and piled’ 16th century Chinese fish bowl in The National Museum of Scotland