In May 1936 the steamship Sorrento sailed into the port of Piraeus, Greece. Aboard were 452 items of Chinese pottery, destined to join another 341 already on display at the Benaki Museum in Athens. Over the past 9 years the museum’s founder, Antonis Benakis, had been in contact with their donor, Greek-origin British businessman George Eumorfopoulos.
Eumorfopoulos was pivotal among the enthusiasts and scholars who during the early 20th century changed long-held preconceptions on China. Situated in London, a centre of imperialist power and global finance, they acquired, assessed, and interpreted previously unseen and fascinating objects.
China Rediscovered: The Benaki Museum Collection of Chinese Ceramics traces the roles of ceramics in this cultural interplay within the context of earlier encounters between China and the world.
Monday 18 July, 630pm
London Sketch Club, 7 Dilke St, London SW3 4JE
‘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