Currently on view through May 6, Poetic Pastimes showcases more than 150 pieces of fine and decorative arts from the 17th through 20th centuries in a wide variety of media, including woodblock prints, paintings, lacquer, textiles, metalwork, ceramics, and carved ivory. Celebrated pastimes like cherry blossom viewing, the tea ceremony and "The Way of Tea", martial arts and "The Way of the Warrior" have flourished in Japan for more than a thousand years spurring a florescence of creative and artistic expression. From the development of an aristocratic court life in the classical Heian period (794-1185), the pursuit of pleasure and self-cultivation has been central to Japanese life and culture. This includes contemplating things like the migration of birds, blossoming flowers and trees, autumn foliage under a harvest moon, and branches laden with snow. Drawn largely from the Museum’s historic collections that include masterworks from the founding collection of 1909, the majority of these precious art objects are publicly revealed for the first time.
Guest curator: Laura J. Mueller.