The Benaki Museum Collection of Chinese Ceramics
by George Manginis
This richly illustrated book showcases a previously unseen and virtually unknown historical collection of Chinese ceramics, formed in the early twentieth century by George Eumorfopoulos, a pivotal figure in the appreciation of Asian art. Taken together, these artifacts, now located at the Benaki Museum in Athens, are a rare time capsule of Western tastes and preoccupations with the East in the decades prior to World War II. The years between the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911 and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 marked an opening up of China to the rest of the world and coincided with the first archaeological excavations of the country’s early cultures. This groundbreaking exploration of approximately one hundred artifacts is not only an important account of Eumorfopoulos’s work, but also a story about China and the West.
George Manginis is an archaeologist. He has taught Byzantine, Islamic, and Chinese Art History at the University of Edinburgh, SOAS, and the New College of the Humanities. In 2013 he was a Stanley J. Seeger Fellow at Princeton University. Manginis the author of Mount Sinai (2016).
Publication Date: 11 July 2016
Illustrated (150 full colour), 144 pp
‘George Eumorfopoulos…will long be remembered as one of the greatest collectors of Chinese porcelain… In the heyday of his career he dominated the Oriental art market.’
– The Times
‘Eumorfopoulos was pivotal among the enthusiasts and scholars who during the early 20th century changed long-held preconceptions on China.’
– Nee Hao Magazine
‘George Eumorfopoulos was a distinguished collector of European and Oriental porcelain’
– The V&A Museum
‘[Eumorfopoulos was] A great London collector of Chinese antiquities of all kinds; with a particular interest in Chinese ceramics’
– The British Museum