Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices

On view in Adelaide 13 June – 30 August 2015

A mid-year highlight for the Art Gallery of South Australia is the much-anticipated Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices. This is the first exhibition in Australia to present the complex artistic and cultural interactions between the East and the West from the 16th to the 19th centuries – a period known as the ‘Age of Spices.’

This exhibition includes 300 outstanding and rarely-seen works of ceramics, decorative arts, furniture, metalware, paintings, prints and textiles from public and private collections in Australia, India, Portugal, Singapore and the United States.

The selected works of art reveal how the international trade in spices and other exotic commodities inspired dialogue between Asian and European artists, centuries-old conversations whose heritage is the aesthetic globalism we know today.

Exhibition highlights include Christian artwork created at ports such as Goa and Nagasaki on loan from Portugal and India, two works from the personal collection of Queen Adelaide (1792–1849) after whom the city of Adelaide is named, and artefacts retrieved from the Batavia, which sank off the Western Australian coast in the seventeenth century.

Presented in collaboration with Art Gallery of Western Australia
On view in Perth 10 October 2015 – 31 January 2016

Image detail: Nagasaki School, 'Scenes of traders at Nagasaki', late 18th-early 19th century, Nagasaki, Japan, pair of hand scrolls (e maki): ink, colour and gold on paper; box: wood, paper and ink, scroll, (a) 34x652 cm; (b) 34x652 cm; box 12x19.5x39.5 cm; M.J.M. Carter AO Collection through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 2014, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.