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“…the most picturesque and striking objects…”: The Chinese Influence on Western Interiors and Architecture

William Sargent, Independent Curator; Senior Consultant in Chinese Art, Bonhams, USA; Former H. A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art, Peabody Essex Museum

By the early eighteenth century influences from China sparked the imaginations of European architects, interior designers and landscape architects to recreate Cathay on Western soil.  The decorative arts and the lure of China had profoundly affected the cultures of Europe and America, from the attempts to reproduce porcelain, silk and tea, to the social culture of drinking tea, to the interior décor of their homes and the reconfiguration of their gardens.  This talk focuses on the exterior and interior spaces of European and American homes that found their inspiration in China.

Picture 1: Drottningholm Kina Slott, Sweden
Picture 2: Nicholas Maes, (1634-1693), Interior with a Dordrecht Family, c. 1656, Norton Simon Museum, F9172.15.2.P
Picture 3: Charlottenburg, porcelain room, Germany

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