In conjunction with the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society’s 44th Annual General Meeting, the 2013 Annual William Willetts Lecture

by Dawn Rooney

The lecturer focused on developments in the research on Southeast Asian ceramics stimulated through publications by William Willetts in the 1970s and 1980s. Willetts’ works provided the foundation for many to delve into the fascinating and challenging world of Southeast Asian ceramics. While his works were not definitive, they reflected his knowledge of what was known at that time. Others, including his students, have followed his lead in opening up the vast reservoir of knowledge that we have today.

The lecture also expanded on his speculations into areas where there was little or no information which, not surprisingly given his expertise, have proven to be correct. In the post-Willetts era, many have built upon his initial findings. Without the foundation that Willetts provided, it is doubtful that we would know as much as we do today. This lecture in his memory, applauded his foresight.

About the Speaker:
Dawn Rooney is an art historian specializing in Southeast Asia, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical and the Royal Asiatic Societies in London, an advisor to the Society for Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, as well as co-chairperson of the James H.W. Thompson Foundation Advisory Board (Bangkok, Thailand).

Her contributions to the field of ceramics include: author of Khmer Ceramics (Singapore, Oxford University Press, 1984) and Folk Pottery in South-East Asia (Singapore, Oxford University Press, 1987). Introductions to: Thai Pottery and Ceramics: Collected Articles from the Journal of the Siam Society (Bangkok, Siam Society, 1986); Khmer Ceramics from the Kamratan Collection (Singapore, Oxford University Press, 1990); The Beauty of Fired Clay: Ceramics of Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Thailand (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Oxford University Press, 1997); Khmer Ceramics: Beauty and Meaning (Bangkok, River Books, 2010).

Dr. Rooney has lived in Thailand for the past four decades and now divides her time between Bangkok and Seattle.


Friday 1 February 2013

Visitors’ Briefing Room, Ground Floor, National Library Board

100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064