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What is: Ceramic Art?

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Ceramic is one of the most ubiquitous and ancient arts. Its purpose can be domestic, decorative, ritualistic or pure artistic expression, with form and function varying hugely across time and cultures.

Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts Paul Greenhalgh invites us to connect with the emotional resonance of ceramic, exploring the beauty and mystery of an art that belongs everywhere and to all people.


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Paul Greenhalgh is a writer and curator, Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and Professor of Art History at the University of East Anglia (UK). His previous roles Include Director and President of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington DC), President of NSCAD (Canada), and Head of Research at the V&A Museum.

His books include Ephemeral Vistas (1989), Modernism in Design (1993), Art Nouveau 1890-1914 (2000), The Modern Ideal (2004), Fair World (2012), L'Art Nouveau: la révolution décorative (2013), and Ceramic, art, and civilisation (2020).

He has chaired and served on various boards and committees, including the British Government's Research Excellence Framework for Art and Design (2010-2014), the University of Edinburgh's Arts Advisory Committee (2010-2015), the Bureau International des Expositions, Paris, and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

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