Museum Prinsenhof


Jingdezhen. 1000 years porcelain

Jingdezhen. 1,000 years of porcelain

As soon as the museums can open their doors to the public again, the Museum Prinsenhof Delft will present Jingdezhen. 1,000 years of porcelain. For the first time, China’s pre-eminent porcelain city, Jingdezhen, will be at the heart of an exhibition in the Netherlands. Potters in the city of Jingdezhen have been making porcelain of the highest quality for 1,000 years: ‘as thin as paper and as white as jade’. Despite China’s turbulent history, with periods of great flourishing and of decline, porcelain production in this city has never ceased. In Jingdezhen. 1,000 years of porcelain, visitors will journey through a thousand years of ceramics history, on the basis of more than 90 porcelain highlights, combined with Aart Kooij’s photographs of today’s Jingdezhen.

Although we rarely stop to consider it, we are surrounded every day by porcelain from Jingdezhen. The influence of Jingdezhen on the porcelain industry and artists worldwide is huge. The exhibition brings together a rich array of objects from leading collections in the Netherlands, including our own museum’s. The objects were selected for their beauty, the artisanal skill with which they were made or their historical significance. On display are the earliest porcelain from the 10th century, renowned Ming porcelain, highlights of export porcelain destined for Asia and Europe and the last imperial porcelain from the 19th century. Besides [Jingdezhen] porcelain intended for imperial and common use, there is also ceramic art by the earliest and by contemporary ceramic artists. The exhibition pays attention to porcelain imported by the Netherlands, too, which was an important source of inspiration to Delft potters, leading to the development of the internationally known Delftware.


The exhibition is a journey through the city of Jingdezhen and its history. The recent photographs of Aart Kooij bring the city to life. The internationally renowned photographer Aart Kooij (1961) has lived in Asia since 2001 and works as a photographer for the Dutch newspapers NRC Handelsblad and Trouw, among others. His photography opens the doors to the porcelain factories, where the potters are busy practicing their craft. Every visitor to the exhibition will receive a free travel guide with photographs, maps and interesting information on the history and symbolism of the porcelain and the city.


Along with the exhibition, the museum is organising several activities, including lectures, a children’s lecture, workshops and appraisal days, in collaboration with the British auction house Bonhams. 


For the exhibition Jingdezhen. 1,000 years of porcelain, the museum is collaborating with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics in Leeuwarden, the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Groninger Museum, the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, the Zeeuws Museum in Middelburg, several private lenders and the Dutch designer pols potten. The exhibition has been made possible in part by the City of Delft, the Mondriaan Fund, Rabobank and De Laatste Eer.


The Museum Prinsenhof Delft is the leading Delft museum of art and cultural history. Its permanent collection is based on three topics: William the Silent, Delft Masters and Delftware. Together, these form the museum’s foundation. The museum shows how these Dutch icons are part of the city and how they have contributed to the identity of the Netherlands. On the basis of exhibitions and multifaceted programmes, these themes are explored from constantly changing perspectives. The museum is housed in the former monastery that was the temporary court of William the Silent, Prince of Orange, in the 16th century. The building is now one of the Cultural Heritage Agency’s Top 100 national monuments.


Press information - Jingdezhen | Museum Prinsenhof Delft



For more information, please contact Nadia van Dorsser

+31 (0)6 20 96 26 78

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