FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 1, 2005
CONTACT: CHRIS DISSINGER / (802)656-8582

THE FLEMING MUSEUM PRESENTS
FLEMING MUSEUM OPENS NEW EXHIBITION,
WORLDS OF TEA
SEPTEMBER 01, 2005
Fleming Museum

According to legend, the first cup of tea was brewed in China in the 3rd century B.C.E., when Shen Nong (the Divine Farmer) chanced upon a tea plant while sampling herbs or, in another version of the discovery narrative, accidentally dropped some leaves into a pot of hot water. Although used occasionally for medicinal purposes, tea was not consumed in other Asian countries until the Song Dynasty (960-1279 C.E.), when Zen Buddhist monks introduced the herb to Japanese and Tibetan markets. By the mid-17th century, Dutch traders were regularly importing tea throughout Europe, though the prohibitive cost restricted consumption to the privileged classes and members of the royal court. Today, tea has become a commonly consumed beverage and is grown in more than 50 countries and exported around the world. Moreover, increasing demand for rare, high-quality leaves has created a vibrant new market for specialty boutique teas.

Worlds of Tea explores objects and rituals associated with tea in various Western and Asian cultures. Drawing from the Fleming's decorative arts collection, this exhibition features an array of objects, ranging from a Japanese Satsuma tea caddy and an East Indian teapot to examples of blue and pink Staffordshire earthenware and a copper tea kettle that belonged to Ethan Allen during the Revolutionary War.

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Image Info:
Tea Pot, ca. 1720-1726
Royal Porcelain Manufacturing, Germany.
Bequest of Reverend Louis Arthur

EXHIBITION LISTING:
Worlds of Tea (September 14 - December 16, 2005)

ADMISSION:
$5 adults. $10 family, $3 students and seniors. Free to: Museum members; faculty, staff and students of UVM, Burlington College, Champlain College, Community College of Vermont, and St. Michael's College; Children 6 and under.