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  • Thumbnail for Woman's apron
    Woman's apron

    Another example of a garment worn like a Western style apron by Chinese women, but not utilized in the kitchen. This piece shows a number of symbols including the butterfly which represents old age along with the stylized long-life symbol.

  • Thumbnail for Red Bridal Outfit
    Red Bridal Outfit

    This garment would be worn at a wedding, and carries the auspicious 'double happiness' character in the center. Red is common for wedding gowns in China historically since it is considered a lucky color.

  • Thumbnail for Bridal skirt ornament
    Bridal skirt ornament

    Embroidered frontispiece thought to have been worn by brides after the wedding ceremony. Each dangling portion carries good luck motifs.

  • Thumbnail for Flower Vase
    Flower Vase

    Square ceramic vase with crackle glaze and overglaze painting in color and gold depicting bamboo, orchids and clouds . Provenance is unknown, but given the style of the painting it is thought to come from Japan.

  • Thumbnail for Embroidered wall hanging
    Embroidered wall hanging

    Embroidered wall hanging depicting a wish for successful completion of the civil service exams.

  • Thumbnail for Dish with red bat motif - bottom view
    Dish with red bat motif - bottom view

    Bottom view shows hollow pedestal foot of the dish.

  • Thumbnail for Snow at Yamanaka Village, near Fujiwaka
    Snow at Yamanaka Village, near Fujiwaka by Utagawa Hiroshige

    One of the most well known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. As the busiest highway in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Tokaido offered numerous chances to experience a variety of social classes and day-to-day activities. Numerous images of this highway were created during the Edo period, some in singular views and others in series, the most famous of which are Hiroshige’s numerous editions. The images depicted the commercial activity along the road and famous views seen on the journey. Hiroshige, in particular, also chose many of the views based on varying times of year and the weather conditions that offered an ever-changing impression of the landscape. Greatly influenced by his teacher Utagawa Toyoharu, Hiroshige often employed perspective views rather than the more traditional stacked and flattened views of the landscape found in the Kano school of painting. This slightly more western view helps to explain his popularity among 19th century artists in Europe. Often palaces decorated with traditional Kano painting would have rooms devoted to each season of the year. Though appealing to a far less sophisticated audience, Hiroshige continued an interest in the seasons frequently depicting particular stations along the Tokaido in a variety of climactic conditions. Fujikawa was station number thirty-seven. Though innovative in both his use of a more western perspective and in many of his subject matters, Hiroshige, nevertheless, evinced a careful understanding of Japanese landscape traditions.

  • Thumbnail for Two women with infant
    Two women with infant by Utamaro Kitagawa

    The dominant ukiyo-e artist of the late 18th century, Utamaro is as famous for his legendary life as for his unsurpassed images of courtesans and famous beauties of his day. Bijin-ga (images of beauties) might be of actual contemporary and historic women or of an idealized type of beauty specific to a time and region. Courtesans in particular were usually depicted in the latest and most elaborate fashions of the day. After an increasing number of censorship laws were passed to limit the production of prints of famous courtesans, thought to corrupt the morals of the citizens of Japan, many artists turned to domestic images of mothers and daughters or women with servants and generalized pictures of the latest fashions in order to satisfy the demand for bijin-ga and skirt the laws.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze mirror stand and mirror
    Bronze mirror stand and mirror

    Cast in the form of a recumbent unicorn or qilin supporting a crescent shaped base for a mirror, this mythical beast carries its head turned to its left and has its legs folded beneath the equine body. In traditional Chinese mythology the predominant characteristic of the qilin is that of benevolence and kindness, offering an evocative addition to a court dressing table. The mirror, of a much earlier date, is cast with typical grape vine and lion decoration on the reverse, a subject frequently seen in Tang mirrors; the reflecting surface is now degraded.The stand is 17th or18th century and the mirror is earlier Tang Dynasty, 7th thru 9th century.

  • Thumbnail for The Courtesan Hanamurasaki of Tamaya Brothel and her Kamuro (girl attendant)
    The Courtesan Hanamurasaki of Tamaya Brothel and her Kamuro (girl attendant) by unknown

    Bijin-ga (images of beauties) might be of actual contemporary and historic women or of an idealized type of beauty specific to a time and region. Courtesans in particular were usually depicted in the latest and most elaborate fashions of the day. After restrictive censorship laws were passed in the 1840s, many artists turned to generalized pictures of the latest fashions and more domestic settings for their images of beauties.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze rice measure - side view
    Bronze rice measure - side view

    This rectangular tapering vessel is an example of the everyday, utilitarian objects that were fashioned in mold cast bronze in the 18th century. The decoration, which incorporates neatly finished human figures in genre scenes along with typical decorative border embellishments, no doubt was fashioned for use in an important household, rather than for use in a less grand setting. 3 3/4in. high, 5 1/2in wide.

  • Thumbnail for Geese on a Pond [A]
    Geese on a Pond [A] by Ren Zun, 1835-1893

    This pair of paintings was painted by an artist of the "Shanghai School" at that time a derogatory term applied by the traditionalists. He was a member of a family of professional artists. The inscription: Painted in the summer of 1872 in the reign of Emperor Tangzhi by Fuchang, Ren Zun, in Wumen.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze censor - detail of side
    Bronze censor - detail of side

    This neatly fashioned rectangular box and openwork cover cleverly becomes a utilitarian incense burner, the pierced cover cast to allow incense to subtly drift upwards through a Buddhist inspired swastika decoration. The taotie handles and the geometric pattern on the ground areas add an archaistic element to the design. The base is inscribed with a dedicatory inscription. 41/8in. high, 6in. x 4 5/8 inches wide

  • Thumbnail for Porcelain saucer dish - detail of bottom
    Porcelain saucer dish - detail of bottom

    This doucai enameled shallow dish is decorated on the interior with a central lappet roundel within double circle borders; the exterior depicts three cranes, emblematic of longevity amongst cloud scrolls and fungus. The base is inscribed with a Yongzheng (1723-1735) reign mark and is of the period, however the quality of the enameling and porcelain suggest that it was not intended for the Imperial household.

  • Thumbnail for Bamboo
    Bamboo by Wang Qiyuan, 1895-1975

    The artist was born into the family of a Confucian scholar. He departed from traditional painting by using oils in the Western style as well as ink and watercolors. In 1941 he left China for the United States founding a school of Chinese brushwork in New York.

  • Thumbnail for The plum garden in Kameido
    The plum garden in Kameido by Utagawa Hiroshige

    From the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo series. One of the most well known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. Though probably most known for his numerous editions of images from the Tokaido, Hiroshige also produced a number of prints and editions of other well known landscape sites. Among them were Famous Places of the Eastern Capital, Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces, and Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji, among others. These few were a modern interpretation of a much earlier tradition in which Chinese artists and poets would paint and write about important locales. As in his Tokaido prints, however Hiroshige imbued these modern views with a sense of a specific contemporary time and place often employing a more western perspective and showing modern day viewers inhabiting the scene.

  • Thumbnail for The Minister of the Right, Minamoto Yoritomo Setting thousands of Cranes Free in Front of Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine, Kamakura to Receive the Blessing of a Pious and Virtuous Life
    The Minister of the Right, Minamoto Yoritomo Setting thousands of Cranes Free in Front of Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine, Kamakura to Receive the Blessing of a Pious and Virtuous Life by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

    The son of a silk dyer, Utagawa Kuniyoshi was apprenticed to the printmaker Utagawa Toyokuni I. whose other pupils included Toyoshige and Kunisada. Unlike his master, who specialized in actor portraits, Kuniyoshi excelled in depicting historical scenes and events along with celebrated warriors. Like many of his contemporaries, the artist experimented widely, producing prints of everything from landscapes to erotica. Kuniyoshi’s first published work was a set of book illustrations released in 1814, although his name remained obscure for several years until his publication of a print series depicting 75 heroes from Japanese lore and legend. When prints of actors and beautiful women (bijin-ga) were banned by the Japanese government in 1842, the Japanese middle class became enthusiastic supporters of Kuniyoshi’s seemingly inoffensive historical prints. In 1843, the artist released a satirical triptych print criticizing the Shogun, launching an official investigation that resulted in the destruction of Kuniyoshi’s woodblocks and unsold prints, as well as an official censure. The print, however, remained popular with the middle class. This prints was most likely commissioned by the official named in its title or done to court the favor of said official. The long title and large size of the print were meant to denote the official’s importance.

  • Thumbnail for Marumi Station: Selling the famous product tie-dyed Arimatsu fabrics
    Marumi Station: Selling the famous product tie-dyed Arimatsu fabrics by Utagawa Hiroshige

    From the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido series, Gyosho Tokaido (named after the calligraphy style used) edition. One of the most well-known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. This image was originally a part of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s collection of Japanese woodblock prints. It along with 36 others came to the Wriston from a benefactor who received them from Wright in lieu of a payment for printing services. Many of the prints have Wright’s handwritten notations in the margins. Though many of the Wright works in our collection are of lesser quality, the images serve as an example of the interest in Asian art that so informed Wright’s architecture. As the busiest highway in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Tokaido offered numerous chances to experience a variety of social classes and day-to-day activities. Numerous images of this highway were created during the Edo period, some in singular views and others in series, the most famous of which are Hiroshige’s numerous editions. The images depicted the commercial activity along the road and famous views seen on the journey. Hiroshige, in particular, also chose many of the views based on varying times of year and the weather conditions that offered an ever-changing impression of the landscape. Greatly influenced by his teacher Utagawa Toyoharu, Hiroshige often employed perspective views rather than the more traditional stacked and flattened views of the landscape found in the Kano school of painting. This slightly more western view helps to explain his popularity among 19th century artists in Europe. Narumi station was number 40.

  • Thumbnail for The Courtesan Miyakoji of Tamaya Brothel and her Attendants in Edo-cho Itchome Street
    The Courtesan Miyakoji of Tamaya Brothel and her Attendants in Edo-cho Itchome Street by Kikugawa Eizan

    From the Seiro Meikun Zoroi (A Set of Famous Courtesans from Green Houses) series. Though he studied with his father, many consider Kikugawa Eizan to be the best of the late followers of Utamaro. Known for his highly elegant (furyu) bijin-ga the artist continued a stylish elegance that many of his contemporaries eschewed for a more earthy realism. Curiously, he all but ceased ukiyo-e printmaking in the 1820s, a full forty years before his death. Bijin-ga (images of beauties) might be of actual contemporary and historic women or of an idealized type of beauty specific to a time and region. Courtesans in particular were usually depicted in the latest and most elaborate fashions of the day. After an increasing number of censorship laws were passed to limit the production of prints of famous courtesans, thought to corrupt the morals of the citizens of Japan, many artists turned to domestic images of mothers and daughters or women with servants and generalized pictures of the latest fashions in order to satisfy the demand for bijin-ga and skirt the laws.

  • Thumbnail for The Tenryu River near Mitsuke station
    The Tenryu River near Mitsuke station by Utagawa Hiroshige

    From the first Tokaido series, Hoeido Tokaido edition. One of the most well-known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. As the busiest highway in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Tokaido offered numerous chances to experience a variety of social classes and day-to-day activities. Numerous images of this highway were created during the Edo period, some in singular views and others in series, the most famous of which are Hiroshige’s numerous editions. The images depicted the commercial activity along the road and famous views seen on the journey. Hiroshige, in particular, also chose many of the views based on varying times of year and the weather conditions that offered an ever-changing impression of the landscape. Greatly influenced by his teacher Utagawa Toyoharu, Hiroshige often employed perspective views rather than the more traditional stacked and flattened views of the landscape found in the Kano school of painting. This slightly more western view helps to explain his popularity among 19th century artists in Europe. This was near station number twenty-eight.

  • Thumbnail for The courtesan Tamagoto of Tamaya Brothel
    The courtesan Tamagoto of Tamaya Brothel by Toyoshige Toyokuni II

    Toyoshige is considered a somewhat mediocre pupil of Toyokuni I but as the artist’s son-in-law he became the head of the Utagawa school after Toyokuni I died. This infuriated Kunisada, who later became the head of the Utagawa school and he had Toyoshige’s name removed from the family roster.Bijin-ga (images of beauties) might be of actual contemporary and historic women or of an idealized type of beauty specific to a time and region. Courtesans in particular were usually depicted in the latest and most elaborate fashions of the day. After an increasing number of censorship laws were passed to limit the production of prints of famous courtesans, thought to corrupt the morals of the citizens of Japan, many artists turned to domestic images of mothers and daughters or women with servants and generalized pictures of the latest fashions in order to satisfy the demand for bijin-ga and skirt the laws.

  • Thumbnail for Kana-dehon Chushingura Act IV: Scene at Enya-Hangan's Castle in Kamakura
    Kana-dehon Chushingura Act IV: Scene at Enya-Hangan's Castle in Kamakura by Utagawa Kuniteru

    Studied first under Kunisada and later with Toyokuni, took the name Kuniteru around 1844. Kana-dehon Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) was a popular and frequently performed Kabuki play in the late 18th and early 19th century in Edo. Based on actual historical events from 1701 – 1703, the play tells of forty-seven ronin (samurai without a lord) who seek revenge for the unjust death of their leader Enya-Hangan. Included here are printed depictions of some of the particularly dramatic acts of the play. Act IV: Enya-hangan commits hara-kiri, while his loyal retainer Yuranosuke vows revenge on Moronao.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze mirror stand
    Bronze mirror stand

    Cast in the form of a recumbent unicorn or qilin supporting a crescent shaped base for a mirror, this mythical beast carries its head turned to its left and has its legs folded beneath the equine body. In traditional Chinese mythology the predominant characteristic of the qilin is that of benevolence and kindness, offering an evocative addition to a court dressing table. 5.75 inches high x 7 5/16 wide x 4.25 deep.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze pear-shaped vase
    Bronze pear-shaped vase

    The flattened slender vase has a flaring quatrefoil neck and mouth and two lion masks and rings are cast on to the shoulder. The body of the vase is decorated from above the foot to the mid section with loose fruiting flower branches. Floral decoration was an extremely popular motif during the Qing Dynasty and during this period artists freely departed from the strict orthodoxy of early Ming Dynasty floral décor. 10 inches high by 4.75 inches wide.

  • Thumbnail for Piece-Mold Bronze Casting Diagram
    Piece-Mold Bronze Casting Diagram

    Diagram showing the various components necessary for casting in the piece-mold process utilized in the Shang era [1500-1050 BCE].