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  • Thumbnail for Bamboo and Rock in Rain - closer view of inscription
    Bamboo and Rock in Rain - closer view of inscription by Hine Taizan (1813-1869)

    Hanging scroll; ink on silk. Dimensions: 51 3/8 x 20 in. Condition is good.

  • Thumbnail for Man and Frog (Mutate Gama Sennin)
    Man and Frog (Mutate Gama Sennin) by Torii Kiyomitsu (1735-1785)

    Woodblock print (framed). Dimensions: 13 3/4 x 6 in. Condition is good.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Willows along a bank - detail of inscription
    Fan painting - Willows along a bank - detail of inscription by Yang Zhao

    A copse of willows grows by the water. To the right is a home with a figure seen through the door; to the left a skiff moves over the water. In the background a range of mountains rise above the mist that hangs over the water. Although the seal, at least, seems fairly clear in indicating the name Yang Zhao, the name does not appear in standard sources. A copse of willows grows by the water. To the right is a home with a figure seen through the door; to the left a skiff moves over the water. In the background a range of mountains rises above the mist that hangs over the water. The composition is very conservative, going back ultimately to such scenes painted by the Song master Zhao Lingrang, although he would not have included the mountains. The device of using the mist to screen the base of the mountains is, in fact, an archaic device developed before painters found a way to move the eye back into space from foreground to distance. The application of color also goes back to early times, especially since the brush line is so little in evidence. Whether this artist specialized in such scenes or was simply making a reference back into the past is impossible to say.

  • Thumbnail for The Last Supper
    The Last Supper by Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996)

    Kappazuri or katazome dyed stencil print, 11/80, 24 x 28 inches. There are 57 examples of the stencil-prints (kappazuri) of Watanabe Sadao in the Brauer Museum of Art. Watanabe is, perhaps, the most famous Christian-Japanese print master to date. Frances Blakemore states that "Watanabe's works are in collections from South Africa to Australia, from the Philippines to Europe." (Who's who in Modern Japanese Prints, p. 228). 23 institutions list examples of his work in their collections, including the Museums of Modern Art of Tokyo and New York, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the British Museum, and the Haifa Museum. Ten of Watanabe's prints are on permanent display in the Vatican Museum of Modern Art. Watanabe also has had shows of his prints in the US, Japan, Brussels, the Netherlands, China, Germany, Denmark, and Indonesia. His work was included into the exhibition of Japanese prints at the Winter Olympics in Sapporo in 1972. Watanabe has won the prizes of the Folk Art Museum, the Japanese Print Association, and other prestigious bodies. He is holder of the coveted prize of the Kokuga sosaku kyokai, the organization that holds the Arts in Spring-Kokuten Exhibition that is such an important event in the world of modern art in Japan. The range in date, subject, and size of these prints means that the Watanabe Collection of the Brauer Museum of Art provides excellent coverage of this key Creative Print master, increasing its value for his study.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - The Lute Song - detail of inscription
    Fan painting - The Lute Song - detail of inscription by Shen Yuebin (act.1820-1850)

    A single woman in her boat and two men in theirs, both placed along the banks of the river. The identification of the artist is tentative at best, and rests on the interpretation of the character Yi. Yilou is the pen name of Shen Yuebin, who exists only as a single entry in the dictionary of artist's names. The entry states he was known for his regular script, but does not mention painting. Nevertheless, the careful organization of the composition and the meticulous brushwork in an almost miniature scene implies someone who could work with a similar approach in calligraphy. All elements in this scene refer to the story of the Lute Song: the single woman in her boat and the two men in theirs, both placed along the banks of the river. By laying out the banks of the river as overlapping spits of land separated by wide expanses of water, the artist introduces an aura of emptiness and melancholy that suits the story well. This is an innovative approach to an event often depicted.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting -  Boats on a lake beneath a temple
    Fan painting - Boats on a lake beneath a temple by Xu Guanhai

    Indistinct background and mist filled shoreline with temple roof emerging from the trees. The artist is known only from an entry in the dictionary, which says that he was from Shangyu in Zhejiang province and known for calligraphy as well as for painting orchids and naturalistic scenes, which usually meant still life or bird and flower themes. He was a provincial graduate in 1760, so the date of 1806 could fit within his later years. There is a certain antique feeling in this work in that the indistinct background and mist filled shoreline with the temple roof emerging from the trees harks back to the Southern Song and the Ma-Xia School. Even the style of the temple architecture imitates that found in these earlier paintings, as does the "one corner" composition with most of the visual weight placed to one side. This is somewhat surprising, since by the early Qing the more orthodox painters did not think much of these earlier masters.

  • Thumbnail for Adam and Eve
    Adam and Eve by Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996)

    Kappazuri or katazome dyed stencil print, 16/100, 27 x 20 inches. Watanabe is, perhaps, the most famous Christian-Japanese print master to date. Frances Blakemore states that: "Watanabe's works are in collections from South Africa to Australia, from the Philippines to Europe. (Who's who in Modern Japanese Prints, p. 228). Institutions that list examples of his work in their collections include the Museums of Modern Art of Tokyo and New York, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the British Museum, and the Haifa Museum. Ten of Watanabe's prints are on permanent display in the Vatican Museum of Modern Art. Watanabe also has had shows of his prints in the US, Japan, Brussels, the Netherlands, China, Germany, Denmark, and Indonesia. His work was included into the exhibition of Japanese prints at the Winter Olympics in Sapporo in 1972. Watanabe has won the prizes of the Folk Art Museum, the Japanese Print Association, and other prestigious bodies. He is holder of the coveted prize of the Kokuga sosaku kyokai, the organization that holds the Arts in Spring-Kokuten Exhibition that is such an important event in the world of modern art in Japan.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Landscape
    Fan painting - Landscape by Datong

    A dense landscape with a stream on the right and the houses to the rear. On the left, two large pines overhang a pavilion in which a scholar sits, presumably writing a letter. The name of this artist does not appear in standard sources. This is a very competent, even ambitious, work. As the title suggests, the scholar in the hut is "composing a scented letter among streams and mountains." On the left, two large pines overhang a pavilion in which a scholar sits, presumably writing a letter. The dense landscape with a stream on the right and houses to the rear suggests a precedent in the Yuan dynasty masters Wang Meng or Huang Gongwang, although there is no specific clue in the inscription. This is a very good artist, and in time he will be identified.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy
    Fan painting - Calligraphy by Langqing [?]

    Fourteen uneven lines of running script, alternating between lines of seven or eight characters and those of five characters. The last two lines contain the date and dedication. After this is the four character signature. The writer remains unidentified, and the reading of the signature is very tentative. The calligraphy is very well done, using a very controlled running script in which only a few characters are linked.

  • Thumbnail for Autumn Landscape - full view
    Autumn Landscape - full view by Yamamoto Baiitsu (1783-1856)

    Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk. Dimensions: 14 1/2 x 23 in. Condition is good. Fine example of this artist's work.

  • Thumbnail for Man with Broom at Feet (Jittoku) - close up view
    Man with Broom at Feet (Jittoku) - close up view

    Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper Dimensions: 11 5/8 x 51 in.Condition is excellent.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy
    Fan painting - Calligraphy by Wu Changshi (1844-1927)

    15 lines of running script alternating between lines of eight and four characters, with some variation in number of characters per line. These are followed by six lines of date, dedication, and signature. Wu Changshi, a name Wu Jun adopted later in life, is arguably the most famous and most important artist represented in this collection. He is also one of the latest, and most of his work and stylistic innovations occurred in the twentieth century. This work is dated, but the area of the date is heavily abraded and unreadable. It is most likely, however, an early example of his calligraphy. His career is as well recorded as any artist of his generation, and the extensive comments by Claudia Brown and Kuiyi Shen are readily available and need not be repeated here in detail. Shen says of Wu that he was "…one of the most innovative of early twentieth-century painters, and his career best represents the process of evolution form artistic patterns of late imperial China to those of the modern era." He began his career in the late Qing aspiring to a position as an official, but ended up in Shanghai as a commercial artist, two roles which were at the opposite ends of the social spectrum. The characters are written in an aggressive and rapid hand. There is a tendency for horizontal strokes to rise rapidly from left the right, and all strokes have noticeable modulation. These are aspects of his mature calligraphy, but more cautiously expressed. The same form of the character "Jun" in the signature can be seen in an early painting found in Brown. As with all famous Chinese artists, a certain caution is advisable, and a scholar familiar with Changshi's calligraphy through his career should be asked for an opinion. Nevertheless, this is a very important work that should be shared with those doing work in this area.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Scene from the Red Cliff
    Fan painting - Scene from the Red Cliff by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983)

    A scene of excursion by boat to the Red Cliff, illustrating the two odes on the Red Cliff. The cliff overrarches the boat and passengers, as in an innovative use of restrictions of the fan format. Zhang Daqian became one of the best-known Chinese artists of the twentieth century, and was an international figure. He lived and worked in Shanghai before 1949, and then in California, Brazil and Taiwan. He was a person of great talent who understood the entire tradition of Chinese painting, and is perhaps responsible for creating a part of that tradition through his imitations and fakes. There is an immense body of literature on his life and work, and finding how this fan fits into his development should be an interesting study. The identification of this fan rests on both the name Daqian as well as the fact that he identifies himself as "a man of Shu (Shuren)" or Sichuan. If this is indeed by Zhang Daqian, and the assessment of the entire collection as being primarily nineteenth century is correct, this would need be a very early painting by this master, done perhaps around 1920. The final word on the authenticity of the work must wait for a study of other documented early paintings, and how the style, signature and seal of this one fits in with those others (also see fan #30, dated 1930). The scene of the excursion by boat to the Red Cliff, illustrating the two odes on the Red Cliff by Su Shi or Su Dongpo, has been painted by artists over the centuries, and is one of the most popular themes in the repertoire of literati artists. The composition, with the cliff overarching the boat and passengers, is an innovative use of the restrictions of the fan format. The cliffs are painted with energy and skill, and they are continued by the pine trees that reach down from the very top of the fan. The rushes at the left counter and control the strong leftward movement of the cliffs and pines, and act as to move the boat gently into the middle ground. The painting and composition continue the compositional freshness found in the Shanghai school with a brush energy found in many early twentieth century painters.

  • Thumbnail for Santali tribal figure of Shiva, base for Kali figure - detail
    Santali tribal figure of Shiva, base for Kali figure - detail

    Cast bronze with gilding, 25 x 9.25 inches. Santali refers to tribal groups; sometimes it is used to mean tribes of a certain region, but it is also used generically to reference tribals, that is, indigenous Indian peoples who were never fully assimilated into Hindu India. In this sense, images such as these are relevant to discussions of the caste or varna system of South Asia and the official government policy of reservation for Untouchables, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes that formed a part of the Constitution of the Republic of India. This is comparable to what in the US would be called Affirmative Action, but with much more specific initiatives. The notion that there are indigenous peoples of India who are regarded as having inhabited the subcontinent prior to the appearance of the Aryan tribes who brought their Sanskritic traditions can provide provocative possibilities for discussion in a range of disciplines (Religious Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Art History). These are relatively large (Ganesha is over 3 ft. in height; Siva-Kali about 2 feet) and quite handsome pieces which follow more or less standard Hindu iconographic schemes (the Hindu deities Siva, Kali, Ganesha) but in style depart from the styles of sculpture practiced in Hindu states and courts. Thus they lend themselves to discussions of standard Hindu iconography as well as to the nature of tribal traditions in South Asia; they could also generate interesting discussions of 'classical' versus 'tribal' in Asian art: what makes a work 'folk' art (that is, its origin, its makers or patrons, its formal qualities?). And how have these traditions come to intersect and interact in the last century? While these are designated as 19th century they may in fact be more recent in manufacture.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches, depicting a hunting scene. These are extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). This image lends itself to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for The Last Supper
    The Last Supper by Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996)

    Kappazuri or katazome dyed stencil print, 13 x 9 inches. Watanabe is, perhaps, the most famous Christian-Japanese print master to date. Frances Blakemore states that "Watanabe's works are in collections from South Africa to Australia, from the Philippines to Europe." (Who's who in Modern Japanese Prints, p. 228). 23 institutions list examples of his work in their collections, including the Museums of Modern Art of Tokyo and New York, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the British Museum, and the Haifa Museum. Ten of Watanabe's prints are on permanent display in the Vatican Museum of Modern Art. Watanabe also has had shows of his prints in the US, Japan, Brussels, the Netherlands, China, Germany, Denmark, and Indonesia. His work was included into the exhibition of Japanese prints at the Winter Olympics in Sapporo in 1972. Watanabe has won the prizes of the Folk Art Museum, the Japanese Print Association, and other prestigious bodies. He is holder of the coveted prize of the Kokuga sosaku kyokai, the organization that holds the Arts in Spring-Kokuten Exhibition that is such an important event in the world of modern art in Japan. The range in date, subject, and size of these prints means that the Watanabe Collection of the Brauer Museum of Art provides excellent coverage of this key Creative Print master, increasing its value for his study.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - women in a garden - detail of seal on left side
    Fan painting - women in a garden - detail of seal on left side by Quan

    Two women, one playing a qin, the other attentive, in a garden with rocks and bamboo. The painter is not identified, and is not an artist of outstanding ability. As always, the date could be an earlier number in the 60 year cycle, but 1869 seems to fit stylistically. The main subjects, the women, are painted without any knowledge of traditional techniques for depicting drapery, and the faces are non-descript. The rock formations on which the two women sit have a liquid motion that would work well in a landscape, but not so in a garden. They relate awkwardly to the plane on which the women sit. The bamboo is better handled, but lacks energy and character. The inscription begins with a seven-character quatrain, followed by the date, dedication, and signature.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Landscape - detail of calligraphy
    Fan painting - Landscape - detail of calligraphy by Datong

    A dense landscape with a stream on the right and the houses to the rear. On the left, two large pines overhang a pavilion in which a scholar sits, presumably writing a letter. The name of this artist does not appear in standard sources. This is a very competent, even ambitious, work. As the title suggests, the scholar in the hut is "composing a scented letter among streams and mountains." On the left, two large pines overhang a pavilion in which a scholar sits, presumably writing a letter. The dense landscape with a stream on the right and houses to the rear suggests a precedent in the Yuan dynasty masters Wang Meng or Huang Gongwang, although there is no specific clue in the inscription. This is a very good artist, and in time he will be identified.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy on round fan
    Fan painting - Calligraphy on round fan by Unknown

    Seven lines of running script on a round fan, followed by a single line with the dedication and signature, which is unclear. This is an attractive example of the running script, by a writer who confidently and quickly wrote out this piece. There are some curious inconsistencies in the scale of characters, some being very small and other quite large. The distinctive cipher that is the signature should be able to be identified at some later date.

  • Thumbnail for Sandalwood Smoke, Manchuria -- Fumees De Santal. Mandchoukuo
    Sandalwood Smoke, Manchuria -- Fumees De Santal. Mandchoukuo by Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960)

    Woodblock print in ink and colors on paper. Size: paper: 14.25" x 18.75"; image: 11.75" x 15.5". Image of Chinese woman leaning over a railing inhaling incense smoke. French, active in Japan,Jacoulet came to Japan from his native France with his parents when he was ten. He produced very fine Japanese-style prints and his work is widely appreciated by collectors and scholars of modern Japanese printmaking.

  • Thumbnail for Standing female figure wearing skirt and headdress - closeup view
    Standing female figure wearing skirt and headdress - closeup view

    Wood-carved with added white paint.This handsome figure is another Manderman folk piece. She seems to most closely resemble what are often called bhuta figures from 19th-20th-century Karnataka. Bhuta is another term that is used in various ways; in the orthodox tradition it has meaning associated with ghosts, with evil forces, with potentially malevolent spirits. Bhuta has been used as a term to signify those malevolent spritis outside the orthodox traditions of Hinduism and thus has also come to signifiy, more generically, folk deities, powerful forces outside the pantheon of the Hindu tradition; but in this sense these are not necessarily malevolent or destructive; rather they are beings/ forces/ spirits of limited and often highly localized powers. What this figure shares with other Karnataka figures that have been termed bhutas are the material and general form: she is made of wood, rather simply carved, with a strongly stylized, geometric body. Her body is contructed of a series of geometric shapes, with tubular arms, a cylindrical trunk pinched at the waist, her face strongly circular with large ears that project at a direct perpendicular from the cheeks. The details of the face are simplified in a manner that is shared with the marble Jina. There are several details that set this figure apart from better-known so-called bhutas from Karnataka: she seems to wear a garment that covers her upper body, a feature quite unusual in the depiction of females in Indian art in general and in typical bhutas from Karnataka, in which the upper body is also usually nude except for jewelry; her skirt falls in wide gores with only a few folds, while in most bhuta figures from Karnataka the skirt is rendered in a continuous series of thin folds that create a more detailed pattern of vertical forms along the lower body; and rarely are typical Karnataka bhutas painted, as this figure is. Further research may suggest a different provenance, as wooden 'folk' figures hail from many regions.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches, depicting a hunting scene. These are extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). This image lends itself to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Flowering cherry
    Fan painting - Flowering cherry by Yi Nianzeng

    Prunus blossoms with inscription. Yi Nianzeng is another painter whose fame is tied to that of his father, the great calligrapher and aesthetician Yi Bingshou (1754-1815).Nianzeng aspired to an official career, and eventually held a post in Zhejiang province, which would have brought him into contact with the world of the lower Yangtse River Valley. This was the home of most of the artists represented in this collection. Nianzeng was known for his seal and clerical script, and also for prunus blossoms, as in this example. There is a certain awkwardness in the composition of this fan. Many earlier artists created a composition where the main branch of the tree descended from the top of the painting, but here the two branches cross and create an "eye" just below the edge of the fan, and in the eye the minor branches crisscross making an artificial pattern. The point of the subject is to highlight the profusion of blossoms, but here the branches dominate, and the blossoms are almost pushed to the background. It is worth noting that in the calligraphy illustrated in the Kuo and Sturman volume, there is some of this same awkwardness and geometric structure. Too few of Nianzeng's works have been illustrated to make a general judgment. In the future this critique can be used to judge his other works.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy
    Fan painting - Calligraphy by Gong Bo

    Thirteen double lines in running script on slightly darkened paper, followed by date, dedication and signature. The name of the writer has not been found in a standard source, but the clearly written characters and standard formula for the signature leaves no doubt as to the name. The writing is by an accomplished hand, in a standard style. The writing begins, "Officials of the Han dynasty said…" The content could then refer back to that same era when so many of the great models of calligraphy were created.

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages)
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Fifteenth set of two images of women from bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress.