For Students

Past Exhibitions: 2006

Recent Acquisitions of East Asian Art

November 5, 2005–May 14, 2006

Shijaku I as Somenoi

Ryûsai Shigeharu (Japanese, 1803-1852)
Shijaku I as Somenoi
Japan, Edo period (1615-1868)
1831-1835
color woodblock print
Gift of James Hayes, 2003/1.596

On the eve of the Museum's ambitious renovation and expansion project, this installation focuses on the exciting future avenues of research and aesthetic pleasures in Japanese and Chinese art made possible by recent acquisitions. For example, James Hayes' gift of over 230 rare prints of kabuki actors in female roles invites collaborative research on topics from the Japanese theatre and gender representation to costume history and the role of prints in creating popular culture. Among Helmut Stern's donation of eighteen Japanese paintings are several works that challenge conventional categories of artistic schools, and require a rethinking of painting practice and consumption in nineteenth-century Kyoto. A gift of nearly eighty kimono, obi, and other garments from the Yamaguchi family will allow us to trace changing taste and the construction of femininity across the twentieth century and the lives of a mother and daughter. Two seventeenth-century portraits of Chinese physicians, from David L. Chambers and John G. Crane, expand our understanding of the contexts and audience for portraiture in Qing dynasty China. None of the works in the exhibition have been on display before, and each tells a compelling story.