The Crow Collection of Asian Art Presents World Premiere of Clay Between Two Seas: From the Abbasid Court to Puebla de los Angeles September 17, 2016-February 12, 2017

DALLAS (June 7, 2016) – The Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas, in partnership with the Museo Internacional del Barroco, Puebla, and the State Council for Culture and the Arts of Puebla, Mexico, announces the world premiere of Clay Between Two Seas: From the Abbasid Court to Puebla de los Angeles. This extensive exhibition of more than 120 objects will make its public debut September 17, 2016–February 12, 2017 at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, then travel to Museo Internacional del Barroco in Puebla, Mexico, from March 25, 2017–July 30, 2017.

The announcement was made at a reception held at the Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City, as part of the Connect the World trade mission led by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

"Mexico is important to Dallas, not only as a trade and tourism partner, but also as a link to Dallas' vibrant Hispanic community," said Mayor Rawlings. "We greatly appreciate the Crow Collection of Asian Art's leadership in promoting understanding of another important community, Dallas' growing Asian population. Our citizens are so fortunate to have these diverse communities coming together to celebrate the world premiere of Clay Between Two Seas."

This exceptional exhibition will feature 100-plus historic works from the Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City, contemporary ceramics from Talavera de la Reyna in Puebla and a selection of historic Chinese ceramics from the Crow Collection of Asian Art's permanent collection. Together, these works of art reveal a remarkable story that spans 11 centuries and 3 continents.

"Mexico and China are countries with rich histories and beautiful artistic traditions," said Crow Collection of Asian Art Executive Director Amy Lewis Hofland. "The story of how clay and commerce came together to forge a new artistic style of ceramic production in Puebla, Mexico, demonstrates the power of art in international dialogues. This conversation of inspiration and influence is just as relevant today as it was in the times of the Manila Galleons. We are honored to be part of this journey as tradition meets the future."

The Crow Collection of Asian Art is the first international partner to the newly opened Museo Internacional del Barroco. The exhibition will be bilingual and accompanied by a richly illustrated research catalogue (in Spanish and English).

"This project is a landmark in Mexico-US cultural cooperation," said Executive Secretary of the Puebla State Council for Culture and the Arts Jorge Alberto Lozoya. "This sets a very significant pattern to the exhibits that the International Museum of the Baroque will generate."

Unique Works of Art on Display

The threads of this exhibition – depicting brilliant technological innovation and design showcasing the shapes and sheen of Talavera pottery made in Puebla – extends back through warring European kingdoms, protectionist Chinese dynasties and burgeoning early Islamic empires, to the banks of the Euphrates in what is now Iraq. Talavera Poblana, tin-glazed earthenware, has many mothers, including Chinese ceramic shapes and design.

Chinese porcelain was directly available to Puebla potters as a significant presence in cargo arriving in Acapulco through the Manila Galleon enterprise, only some of which was transported on to Spain. Considered a luxury good, Chinese porcelain found its way into many homes and religious establishments as both a utilitarian object and status symbol. It is with an eye to the value of Chinese porcelain as a constitutive ideal in Viceregal Mexican society (linked with other Chinese goods such as silk and other textiles, medicines, jewels and luxury goods) that a connection between Chinese ceramics and Talavera Poblana will be directed. By the turn of the 20th century, the search for national identity in post-revolutionary Mexico and U.S. collectors' quests for exotic crafts south of the border combined to hail Puebla's tin glaze potters as artists producing characteristically Mexican decorative ceramics.

Clay Between Two Seas: From the Abbasid Court to Puebla de los Angeles explores how aesthetic choices were combined from culturally distinct but related sources – ranging from the Iraqi invention of tin glaze technology and elaborate cobalt blue and

lustrous metallic-oxide decoration to the New Spain adaption of Chinese ceramic models – contributed to the formation of a distinctive Mexican cultural expression. Excavations, shipwrecks, records, maps, and a selection of historical and contemporary ceramics will be introduced to suggest a global framework for answers. This exhibition not only displays Talavera in its splendor, but also illuminates its often precarious past and glorious present. To look closely at one piece of Talavera – its design, shape and production – is to peer into a history that crosses cultural divides.

Exhibition Organization

Clay Between Two Seas: From the Abbasid Court to Puebla de los Angeles is co- organized by the Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Museo Internacional del Barroco in Puebla, Mexico. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Farzaneh Pirouz and coordinated by Fernando Ondarza. A lushly illustrated bilingual (Spanish and English) research catalogue From Baghdad to Puebla, written by Dr. Pirouz, accompanies the exhibition. Copies of the catalogue will be available for purchase at the Crow Collection of Asian Art's Lotus Shop.

The Dallas engagement is presented in partnership with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District with support from the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas, Texas.

Exhibition Tour Dates and Locations

Crow Collection of Asian Art: September 17, 2016 – February 12, 2017 Museo Internacional del Barroco: March 25, 2017 – July 30, 2017

Related Events

During the exhibition at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, a slate of supporting experiences will be presented for both the public and Friends of the Crow Collection, including an opening gala, a street festival, musical performances, educator programs and lectures related to the exhibition.

The Crow Collection of Asian Art is open Tuesdays – Thursdays (10 a.m. – 9 p.m.), Fridays – Saturdays (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Sundays (noon – 6 p.m.) and closed on Mondays. Admission is free. For more information, please go to or call 214-979-6430.

About the Crow Collection of Asian Art

The Crow Collection of Asian Art features a variety of spaces and galleries with changing exhibitions of the arts of China, Japan, India, Korea and Southeast Asia drawn from cultures ancient and contemporary. Seventeen years in operation, this

lovingly curated free museum offers a serene setting for quiet reflection in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. Dedicated to providing art and service to the Dallas-Fort Worth community with an emphasis on shared learning and fun, the Crow Collection has recently expanded its offerings with a lushly landscaped outdoor Sculpture Garden, a pedestrian-friendly lobby and entrance, and a Samurai Gallery to showcase the museum's spectacular acquisition of a complete set of armor, considered one of the finest of its kind in the world. The Crow Collection of Asian Art is a 501c3 non- profit organization, and is supported, in part, by the generosity of Friends of the Crow Collection members and donors. Learn more at

About the Museo Internacional del Barroco

The Museo Internacional del Barroco is an institution devoted to the conservation, research and dissemination of the different representations that comprise baroque sensibility. This new project located in the city of Puebla, Mexico, studies the environment in which baroque expression sprouted between the 16th and 18th centuries, as well as its contemporary manifestations and future projections. Since its opening in February, the Museum has received more than 200,000 visitors and is a central element in the revitalization of the city of Puebla. The Museum's galleries include eleven exhibition rooms representing the foundations of baroque expression. In addition, the first temporary exhibition, Return Voyage: The China Galleon and the Mexican Baroque, constitutes the opening event among its broad exhibitions program of 2016. For more information please visit


Becky Mayad
work/ 214-352-1881 cell/ 214-697-7745

Stacie Wheelock Adams work/ 214-271-4485 cell/214-552-6416