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  • Thumbnail for Sumo Wrestler Defeating a Westerner
    Sumo Wrestler Defeating a Westerner by Ipposai YOSHIFUJI (1828-87)

    Image of Sumo wrestler successfully tossing a westerner while man and woman looking on. Japanese characters are written on the top of the print and the lower right side. One of a series of prints that appeared during the time between the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853, and the actual beginning of the Meiji Era (1868-1912).

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

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

  • Thumbnail for Fisherman, Rock, and Trees - closer view of image
    Fisherman, Rock, and Trees - closer view of image

    Hanging scroll; ink on paper. Dimensions: 12 3/4 x 41 1/4 in. Some discoloration.

  • Thumbnail for Mountain Scene - detail of inscription
    Mountain Scene - detail of inscription

    Hanging scroll; ink on paper. Dimensions: 56 x 16 1/4 in. Condition of this work is excellent.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Landscape after Huang Gongwang
    Fan painting - Landscape after Huang Gongwang by Gu Linshi (1865-1930)

    Pavilion over the water and the complex of distant mountains with the lines of coniferous trees, can be found in the most famous work of Huang. Foreground scenes of trees and pavilion, mountains to the left. Gu Linshi was by far the oldest of the group known as the "Nine Friends" of Suzhou, and his contribution was to carry the ideas and training of that generation into the twentieth century (see comments on the group under Fan #2). In the literature, Gu is discussed in combination with Lu Hui (1851-1920) (not represented in this collection), as artists who insisted on an awareness and respect for past traditions even as they forged new stylistic expressions. His standing is suggested by the inclusion of one of his works in the "Century in Crisis" exhibition, a work in the style of the late Yuan artist Xu Ben. Andrews recounts how Lu Hui and Gu Linshi, along with other Suzhou painters, emphasized the importance of traditional styles, although they knew and interacted with more iconoclastic painters from Shanghai. Gu and Wu Dacheng, a "rising political figure, …scholar, collector, calligrapher and amateur painter," organized the Yiyuan huaji, a painting society, at Gu's home in 1891. Gu was therefore a pivotal figure in an extended group of artists that included many of the names in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Gu came from an established family, and his grandfather Gu Wenbin (1811-1889) owned "…one of the most important collections in Suzhou at the time." His interest in and expertise on earlier artists is documented in the painting referred to above. There are more than thirty works by him referenced in Laing's lists of twentieth-century artists, testifying to his stature and popularity in his day. Gu says in his inscription that this fan is in the manner of the great Yuan master Huang Gongwang. It is not clear which specific painting of Huang's Gu is referring to, but elements in the composition, specifically the pavilion over the water and the complex of distant mountains with the lines of coniferous trees, can be found in the most famous work by Huang, the Fuchun Mountain Scroll. The manipulation of space is done well, with the foreground scene of trees and pavilion used as a repoussoire, so that the mountains to the left recede effectively into the distance. The classical reference fits well into the kind of paintings Gu did.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Lioness and Cub - detail of inscription
    Fan painting - Lioness and Cub - detail of inscription by Liu Deliu (1806-1875)

    A lioness walking from right to left, takes uo most of the space in the fan. Her cub, facing the opposite direction, looks up at her as the mother's left forepaw rests on his back. Deliu was from Wujiang in Jiangsu province and was known as a specialist in painting plants and animals. He was a student of Xia Zhiding (1782-1827), a painter of similar subjects, but Xia was not well-known enough to have been mentioned in the modern literature. Deliu is said to have been the teacher of Lu Hui (another of the "Nine Friends"), but in this case the student far exceeded the teacher in both technical skill and production. At any rate, Deliu was already 45 when Lu Hui was born, and Lu Hui was just 24 when Deliu died, so the relation could not have been long-lived. Deliu was a "…highly refined individual-whose Red Pear Blossom Studio was known for its bright and sparkling interior, with a fine library and brushes and inkstones of the best quality." Although Brown praises Deliu's work, the relationship between Lu Hui and Deliu may have been more of patronage than teacher-student. He is one of the many artists in the collection that merit further study. A rather droll and amusing lioness, walking from right to left, takes up most of the space in the fan. Her cub, facing the opposite direction, looks up at her as the mother's left forepaw rests protectively on his back. The faces of the lions look more like dogs than lions, and other curious aspects of the anatomy-the long tails with pom-poms at the end and the elongated feet-make one wonder if Deliu had ever seen an actual lion. The statement in the inscription says that he was working in the style of Xinlo Shanren, or Hua Yan (1682-1765), a famous artist of the early Qing who specialized in figures and animals. The somewhat awkward rendering of the animal is mirrored in a painting of a fish in the collection of the Denver Museum of Art. One is tempted to see in the fish the same bemused expression worn by the lioness. The fish seems to float over, not in, the water, as does his companion, a frog.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - The Lute Song - detail of seal at lower right
    Fan painting - The Lute Song - detail of seal at lower right 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 - The Lute Song - detail of central female figure
    Fan painting - The Lute Song - detail of central female figure 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 - Landscape
    Fan painting - Landscape by Gu Yun (1835-1896)

    A round fan with a single large pine to the right, partly obscuring a complex buildings. A single figure is placed before a long table seen through the open window of tall structure at left center. A Single peak is in the left distance. Gu Yun is one of the best-documented artists in the collection, and information on his career can be found in several publications. There are five fans in this collection signed by the artist, and this provides an interesting opportunity to compare the brush manner and calligraphy of a single individual over time. While there are many precedents in the classical past for these standard elements of trees, houses, and distant mountains, the somewhat aggressive pine tree that dominates the paintings suggests some elements of the Shanghai school. The brushwork is quiet, however, and reminds one of Gu's conservative beginnings.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Monkey in a landscape, with insects
    Fan painting - Monkey in a landscape, with insects by Gu Yun (1835-1896)

    A pair of monkeys on the rock silhouetted against the distant mountains. Even though Gu Yun was a prolific artist, there is no clear explanation as to why there are so many of his works in this collection. This is an unusual subject, and the explanation probably lies in the colophon, not yet translated. Gu Yun's classical training is evident in the foreground rocks and trees. The composition works well, with the pair of monkeys on the rock silhouetted against the distant mountains.

  • Thumbnail for Mt. Horai [Isle of the Immortals] - closer view of seal to right of inscription
    Mt. Horai [Isle of the Immortals] - closer view of seal to right of inscription by Okada Beisanjin (1744-1818)

    Hanging scroll; ink and light colors on silk. Dimensions: 34 3/4 x 19 7/8 in. Condition is good. A relatively formal work for this artist.

  • 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 Fan painting - Xiaohong Softly Sings and I Play the Vertical Flute - detail of figures
    Fan painting - Xiaohong Softly Sings and I Play the Vertical Flute - detail of figures by Shen Zhaohan (1856-1941)

    Man and woman in a boat moored before a large rock. Shen Zhaohan, zi Xinhai, lived well into the twentieth century. Would that someone would have interviewed him before he died in 1941. A recent work records his activity in the early twentieth century, when he was a member and for a time Director of the Shanghai-based Yuyuan Shuhua Shanhui (The Yu Garden Charitable Association of Calligraphy and Painting), which was founded only in 1909. Laing records two other artist organizations to which he belonged. Such group activities document the social organizations formed by painters in the early twentieth century to improve their status in the community and financial well-being. He would certainly have been conversant with those of the "Nine Friends" that were of his generation. The works recorded in Laing's Index are dated between 1896 and 1935, so the 1884 date would make this one of his earliest works. The thin elongated faces are clear references back to the Shanghai School and painters like Ren Xun, Qian Huian, and Ni Tian. His other recorded works are all figures and flowers. Even though there is clear precedent for the style that Zhaohan uses here, the painting has an attractive composition, with the two figures set to the right framed by the diagonal of the large rock behind them. The technique in the drapery of the figures is well done, and in line with other late nineteenth century artists. The artist has provided the title in his inscription.

  • Thumbnail for Palm Sunday
    Palm Sunday by Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996)

    Kappazuri or katazome dyed stencil print, 4/100, 34 1/2 x 24 1/2 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 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 - Scholar in nature - detail of scholar figure
    Fan painting - Scholar in nature - detail of scholar figure by Wu Guxiang (1843-1903)

    Scholars seated on a rock beneath a pine tree. This subject has been repeated ten thousand times over the centuries: the solitary scholar communing with nature, with trees and water about him. One distinctive feature here is the scholar's hat, which suggests a Korean costume. Again, the colophon may contain some answers.

  • Thumbnail for Ogura nazarae hyakunin isshū (Ogura imitation of the hundred poets), # 2 in the series: Empress Jitō (645-702)
    Ogura nazarae hyakunin isshū (Ogura imitation of the hundred poets), # 2 in the series: Empress Jitō (645-702) by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)

    Woodblock print; ink and colors on paper. Vertical ōban size. Signature: Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga. Scene: Saimyo-ji “Tokiaki†(monk) and Shiratae (woman: name of joro). Censor seal: Kinugasa; publisher: Ibaya Sensaburo; carver: chōkō Fusajirō [Matsushima Fusajirō]. The artist of this print was one of the most prolific and popular of the late Edo period Ukiyo-e printmakers active in Edo (Tokyo). He specialized in prints of warriors, historical tales, landscapes, and geisha, often, as in this print from a big series, collaborating with other printmakers.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy
    Fan painting - Calligraphy by Qinglang

    Eleven lines of block clercial script, the last with the date. After this, four lines in running script with season, dedication, and signature. The writer has not been identified, but the clerical script would indicate a writer of some accomplishment. The poem is a well-known one by the Ming artist Tang Yin on the subject of the Qin, the Chinese zither. This type of block clerical is often identified with the very well known Qing artist Jin Nong (1687-after 1674), whose work was inspired by Han dynasty inscriptions.

  • 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.

  • Thumbnail for Vase
    Vase

    Swelling small-mouthed vase with heavy foot of cream colored stoneware covered with thick, whitish slip, decorated with sgraffito designs of cranes, rabbit, humans in landscape. Numerous firing cracks filled after firing with black material. h:10†diameter: 7 1/4â€.

  • Thumbnail for White Glazed Porcelain Bowl
    White Glazed Porcelain Bowl

    Shallow, flaring, thin-walled porcelain vessel; bowl divided into 6 lobes; on small ringed foot; covered with creamy, lustrous glaze; 3 small spur marks in bottom of bowl. 2 x 6 1/2".

  • Thumbnail for Standing female figure wearing skirt and headdress - back view
    Standing female figure wearing skirt and headdress - back 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 Santali Ganesha
    Santali Ganesha

    Cast bronze figure, 44 inches in height. 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 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 (Two Untitled Paintings) from the Spirit of Harmony
    (Two Untitled Paintings) from the Spirit of Harmony by Wang Ming, b. 1922

    Acrylic on paper. 69 x 21 4/8 inches (each). The suite of works currently in the library is particularly lyrical in its treatment of color and form. For the most part, there is little to signify that these are Chinese paintings, which is part of what makes the inclusion of these in the project so useful. That is, in the transnational (art) world of the early 20th-century, what makes a work or an artist 'Chinese'? On the other hand, the pair of scolls (untitled in the checklist, but one of these is his Work with Joy, of 1974, which has been exhibited and published) plays off many traditions of Chinese painting, including the lengthy (narrative) handscroll painted on paper and mounted on cloth, even though it is executed in a style growing out of Abstract Expressionism. The mounting of the two scrolls conforms to tradition. Traditionally, such scrolls were kept rolled up, and to be viewed would be 'read' sequentially, unrolling a portion at a time as one viewed the entire work while holding; thus, viewing such a scroll was an intimite encounter with the work. The current display of the scrolls, where they hang, opened, in a tall vertical space, challenges those traditional notions of how such paintings would be viewed.