NORMAN — A small but most enjoyable show — like a hot cup of tea on a cold day — is on view on the ground floor of the University of Oklahoma's Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. Works in the “Tea and Immortality: Chinese Yixing Teapots” show are contemporary but have a timeless, exquisite, exotic feel, reflecting the area's ceramics traditions since the 14th century.
They are from the James T. Bialac Collection that was given to the Phoenix Art Museum. The Arizona museum organized the exhibit of Chinese teapots. A year ago, Bialac gave a major gift of American Indian art to the OU museum.
A rounded buff stoneware “Dragon teapot bearing (a) pearl,” attributed to Zhou Dingfang, eloquently testifies to the importance of dragons as symbols of “masculinity, fertility and imperial power” in China.
The body of a graceful, long-necked duck feeding a fish to a duckling sup
A baby fish adopts a playful pose on its back atop a serendipitous 1994 buff stoneware teapot by Zhongguo Yizzan, while three frogs have fun on a teapot pretending to be a rock by Jinzhi. Equally irresistible are a squat brown stoneware “Three-legged-toad teapot” by Fan Aifen, and a red stoneware, defensively bristling “Hedgehog teapot” by Ye Qing.