Vietnamese Ceramics from the Red River Delta

Coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the normalization of relations between Vietnam and the United States, this installation of 22 works reflects recent scholarship linking Vietnamese ceramics in the Freer collection with 12th- to 16th-century production centers in the Red River delta in northern Vietnam.

The exhibition—the first major presentation of the Freer’s Vietnamese ceramics collection—supplies new understanding of the sources and dates of these works, and highlights their ties to major recent archaeological projects. Works on view include some originally thought by Freer founder Charles Lang Freer to be Japanese, as well as a unique glazed stoneware pillow in the shape of a tortoise that was a gift to the gallery from Dean Frasche. A bowl thought to be Chinese when it was acquired in 1929, but now identified as identical to bowls excavated from the 15th-century layer of the Thang Long citadel site in Hanoi, is also on view.