Monkey Teapot
Monkey Teapot, 1735 Joachim Kändler (1706-1775) Meissen Porcelain with overglaze enamels Cummer Museum of Art, Jacksonville, Florida, AG1967.10.12 Height: 7 ¼ inches

THROUGH MAY 24 — Norton Museum of Art

Spanning a period of 1,200 years from the ninth to early 20th century, and featuring more than 100 rare objects, this will be the first exhibition to explore the art of tea among the elite in eight key cultures worldwide: China, Korea, Japan, Germany, France, Russia, England and the United States.  Objects in the exhibition illustrate important events in each culture as well as major cross-cultural interactions that created new milestones in tea culture.

Native to Southeast Asia and Southern China, leaves of the tea tree, camellia sinensis, were probably chewed raw long before recorded in history. Until late 19th century, all tea involved in world trade originated from China.  When the Chinese began to resist Britain’s habit of paying for tea with opium cultivated in the Indian province of Bengal, the British reinforced tea production in India. There, Assam tea was cultivated in the warmer regions and hardier Chinese variation in the Himalayan foothills of Darjeeling and at higher elevations in the South. Today, India is the world’s largest tea producer.

The exhibition runs through May 24 at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.

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