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Research

Research is a fundamental function for the museum that allows better knowledge of the collections and the building and serves to promote them to the wider community.

Lines of research

The museum has developed various lines of research:

Research of collections

Set projects about the museum’s reserve collections shown in exhibitions and associated publications.

For example, a study was carried out on the Laiu-bosch ceramic collection from Alorca, sponsored by the Ministerio de Cultura (Ministry of Culture) in 2009. The study resulted in the production of a catalogue and an exhibition of the pieces. There has been special emphasis on previously lesser studied aspects in this form of tableware, such as the mark that the kiln nails leave (chronological and attribution indices), the study of the moulds and drawings, etc.

Also studied have been Valencian textile designs of the 15th and 16th century, from the Hispanic Society of New York. The designs were compared with designs of the same period in ceramics, but also rugs, leathers, wood etc. and their expression in oil paintings.

Research about the building

One of the main objectives of the museum is to develop understanding of the building in which it is based, El Palacio de Marqués de Dos Aguas (Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas), originally owned by the Rabasas de Perellós family. The history of the palace, of the different alterations to the building and those that carried them out, the iconography of the pictorial decoration and the genealogy of the marquis of the palace, etc. have all been studied. The results of this research can be found in the following publication​s: 50 años (1954 - 2004); El Museo Nacional de Cerámica en el Palacio de Dos Aguas. Claves de su restauración; El Patrimonio artístico e histórico de los Rabassa de Perellós y el Palacio de Dos Aguas.

Ceramic heritage research

A knowledge of ethnography, history and archaeology is key to providing quality information and maintaining a prominent position as a centre of reference for studying Spanish pottery. With this in mind, the Museum has organised and taken part in numerous research programmes, as well as organising lectures, symposia, conferences and training seminars, releasing its results in publications and specialist scientific forums. The Museum therefore works in partnership with other institutions (museums, Universities, research centres etc.) and external researchers.

The following programmes are currently worth noting:

  • “Arqueología de la producción de la cerámica de Manises [Archaeology of Manises pottery production]”, which performs systematic excavation work in the town’s historical potters’ neighbourhood, known as “Barri d’Obradors”. It is run in partnership with the Ceramology Association of the Manises Pottery Museum and with the Friends of the Museum Association. The project documents and studies products made here from the end of the 13th century until the mid-20th century.
  • “Documentación de técnicas y saberes tradicionales de la cerámica española en peligro de desaparición [Documenting vanishing Spanish pottery techniques and knowledge]”. It is run as part of the “Patrimonio Inmaterial [Intangible Heritage]” project at the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute. The focus is on recording intangible aspects associated with pottery production, and in particular, on vanishing techniques and practices, and currently it is paying close attention to lustreware, fired pottery of the Vall d’Uixó and “La Escuradeta” traditional market in Valencia.
  • Pottery in paintings from the Prado Museum’s collections. Run in partnership with the Prado Museum and the Pottery and Glass Association. This project brings together and studies representations of items of pottery represented in the collections of the Prado Museum in order to draw conclusions in terms of context, history and chronology.
  • Glass and glazing decorated in medieval and post-medieval style: characterisation, production technology and creation of new materials for its upkeep and restoration (VIDETEC). Headed by the Department of Nuclear Physics at the Universidad politécnica de Cataluña and the Metastable and Nanostructural Materials Group at the Escola Politècnica Superior, Universidad de Vic.
  • Study of cobalt blue pigment in samples of Spanish pottery from the 13th to 19th centuries. Project run in association with the Materials Science Institute at the Universidad de Valencia. The results have made it possible to ascertain technical details of manufacturing, to fine-tune the manufacture time-line and authenticate an object decorated with cobalt blue.

Audience research

The Laboratorio Permanente de Público de Museos Nueva ventana (Permanent Laboratory of Museum Visitors), a sub department of the Ministry of State Museums, and the Education and Communication Department carry out regular studies of the museum audience, in order to develop a better understanding of its profile, expectations, motivations and values.

Collaboration with other organisations

The museum collaborates with other institutions (museums, universities, research centre etc.) and with external researchers on joint research projects, the publication of scientific studies or the organisation of symposiums, conferences and discussions.

The National Museum of Ceramics has collaborated with the Instituto de Ciencias de los Materiales de la Universidad de Valencia (Institute for Material Science of the University of Valencia) to study blue cobalt pigment in Spanish ceramic works from the 13th to 19th centuries. The results have contributed to the understanding of technical details of production, and helped to accurately assess the date of production and the origin of the mineral or to authenticate an object.

Scientific publications

The results of research are often disseminated to the research community and the rest of society through publications. These include studies of the museum’s collections, catalogues of temporary exhibitions and scientific studies. The series “Materiales y documentos” (Materials and Documents) started in 2006 dedicates each of its issues to the study of archaeological data, written texts and other documents on the subject of ceramics.

The Museum provides as well a consultation service for researchers.

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