August 8 – October 18, 2009
Soaring Voices celebrates the revolution in clay led by women, who broke through the barrier of the once male-only field of Japanese ceramics. In Japanese culture, centuries-old beliefs regarding the sanctity of wood-firing guarded men's labor from women's in traditional, family-run potteries. Nevertheless, the presence of women was always felt. From glazing to packing and record keeping, women supported the leadership of their fathers-in-law, husbands and sons in the production of ceramic wares. This divide was bridged during the 1950s when the concept of the studio potter as a creative individual working alone, apart from tradition, was introduced. Including more than 80 objects from vessels to sculpture, this exhibition surveys the accomplishments of 25 leading female figures in contemporary Japanese ceramics.