The World's Best Porcelain Museums

The Best Porcelain Museums of the World

Opened in various parts across the world, the porcelain museums showcase the historical development and evolution of porcelain, a sophisticated and luxurious material that is transformed into unimaginably stunning works of art handcrafted by masters.


The Impressive History of Porcelain

The first-ever porcelain production is typically said to have taken place in China nearly 2,000 years ago although a number of different ideas have been expressed about the history of porcelain. Spreading across the East Asian countries and Europe over time, porcelain penetrated into the Western regions through the travels of Marco Polo. Therefore, porcelain is believed to derive from the Latin word “Porcella”, which means mussel. Each civilization that was introduced to porcelain crafts it according to their own culture. Therefore, different countries have witnessed the development of a wide array of aesthetic approaches since the inception of porcelain. Original samples made from this special material were exhibited across the porcelain museums, spanning from China to Italy.


The Best Porcelain Museums From Across the World


1. Mumingtang Ancient Porcelain Museum - China

Located in the Chongwen District of Beijing, the Mumingtang Ancient Porcelain Museum hosts a collection of over 50,000 antique pieces of porcelain. Around 1,200 pieces are available at the permanent exhibition section of the museum. The most precious one among these numerous antique pieces is the porcelain fired at Ruyao kiln. As one of the most famous kilns in China, the Ruyao kiln had been operated only for two decades, during the long porcelain history of China. The pieces of porcelain fired at Ruyao kiln were generally used as precious items sent to the other countries as a present. In the collection, the Chinese porcelain is typically and mainly defined by blue and white colors.


2. The Porcelain Museum in Florence - Italy

Having been open to visit since 1973, Museo Delle Porcellane is located at Casino del Cavaliere that was built in the 17th century. The homogeneous collections comprise mainly porcelain tableware belonging to the royal families that ruled Tuscany (Medici, Lorraine, Savoy), thus clearly reflecting their tastes. The collection is divided by periods, nations and manufacturers. There are several outstanding examples of Italian porcelain objects produced in Doccia (near Florence). These include pieces used by the royal family on a daily basis. Foreign objects outside of Italy include fine table sets designed by the German Manufactory of Meissen, in addition to French porcelain brought from the Royal Palace of Parma.


3. Museum of Royal Worcester - United Kingdom

The Museum of Royal Worcester’s collections date back to 1751, when Dr. John Wall, an eminent surgeon and William Davis, an apothecary, perfected the secret recipe for manufacture of soft-paste porcelain in Worcester. The porcelain dinnerware and teaware featured at the museum housing over 10,000 porcelain objects are observed to mainly include copies from the Far East for use in the homes of the very rich. In contrast, the Victorian gallery is decked with deep colors and works of breathtaking craftsmanship.


4. Riga Porcelain Museum - Latvia

Riga Porcelain Museum features traditions of porcelain production, development of porcelain design from the middle of the 19th century up to the 1990s, as well as the current porcelain art processes. Over 8,000 objects are exhibited at Riga Porcelain Museum, a prominent one among the porcelain museums. The museum collection includes porcelain works manufactured at the Kuznetsov factory opened in 1841, and C.J Jessen Factory opened in 1886, as well as those from the Riga Porcelain Factory. Original artworks created both by the private individuals and porcelain artists stand out the most in the museum collection. A separate exhibition room, the Red Corner, is devoted to various significant events marking the Soviet times – ornaments, vases, plates, figurines.