The description of ‘uncollectables’ can alter through the shifting perceptions of historical understanding as well as the movement of objects.
The study collection at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath consists of some two hundred objects including authentic ceramics as well as copies and imitations. The objects were mostly assembled by the art dealer Bluett & Sons and the collector Sydney Smith in the UK in the 20th century.
This talk focuses on how, when encountering new types of objects in the market and new studies in the field of Chinese ceramics, this London art dealer and this collector equipped themselves with better knowledge by actively acquiring and studying ‘questionable pieces’. The definitions and descriptions of ‘uncollectables’ in fact require both global and localised approaches, determined not just by art-historical conventions.
Dr Nicole Chiang is the Curator at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath.
She began her museum career at the National Palace Museum in Taipei and was Research Assistant at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge.
She received her PhD from SOAS, University of London in 2012 with her thesis “Reconsidering the Collection of the Qing Imperial Household during the Qianlong Reign”.