Japan Society        

Address 333 East 47th Street , NYC

Phone  (212) 832-1155

URL  http://www.jpnsoc.org

  Japan Society GaIIery is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First and Second avenues. 

Exhibition hours are 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Tuesday- Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is $5, $3 for students and seniors. 




URL       http://www.jpnsoc.org/gallery.htm

Opens at Japan Society Gallery on March 22

Masterworks from World Renowned Collection and Gae Aulenti's Designs for New Museum Building will be Featured.

The first major exhibition in New York of Japanese art from the Asian An Museum of San Francisco (AAM) - the largest U.S. museum coIlection dedicated exclusively to the art of Asia -opens at Japan Society Gallery on March 22, 2000 and runs through July 9, 

For the New Century: Japanese Treasures ftom the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco features 47 masterworks spanning 3,000 years of Japanese culture. The exhibition, opening during Asia Week in New York, presents several of the museum's most important paintings, sculptures, ceramics and lacquerware, and includes a section devoted to architect Gae Aulenti,s celebrated designs for the AAM's new building at San Francisco's Civil Center, scheduled to open in 2002.

"Japan Society is delighted to have this opportunity to exhibit some of the finest objects from the Asian Art Museum's world renowned collection," said AIexandra Munroe, director of the Japan Society Gallery. "As the Gallery is not a collecting institution, We are in a unique position to showcase public and private collections that are part of America's cultural history. This exhibition gives us the opportunity to present such a collection and to honor the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and its vision for the future as we enter the new century."

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco opened in I966 as result of a gift to the City of San Francisco by industrialist Avery Brundage. The museum's holdings include more than 12,000 art objects representing more than 40 Asian nations. These holdings are the most valuable asset the City of San Francisco owns other than its land and buildings.

For the New Century, through its series of lectures and panel discussions entitled "Reinventing the Art Museum in the 21st Century," aims to explore the challenges facing Asian art museums in America as they enter the new century. Dr. Emily Sano, director of the AAM, has been especially active exploring new directions for the presentation of Asian art. "Today, the Asian Art Museum is investing heavily in the future: a high-profile renovation project will give it a new home," she remarks. ''So, we must now also consider how our classical collections can draw and sustain the interests of a broad public over the next 100 years.  The Japan Society Gallery exhibition gives us the special opportunity to bring our treasures to the East Coast and explore our vision with a wider audience."

Masterworks from the AAM

For the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is arranged chronologically and thematically, and includes prehistoric art from the Jomon through Kofun periods (3000 BCE to 6th century CE);  an extensive section on Shinto and Buddhist arts from the Heian through Kamakura periods..:8th-13th. centuries), including some of the finest paintings, wooden sculpture and bronze ritual irnlements outside of
Japan: and handscroll and screen paintings, ceramics and lacquerware produced for the court, dairnyo (feudal lords) and merchant classes of the Muromachi, Momoyama and Edo periods (14th..19th centuries).

Some of the most important objects featured in the exhibition include:

・ Hanniwa Warrior (late Kofun period, 6th century; earthenware, excavated at Fujioka, Gunma Prefecture). This !arge warrior figure was excavated at one of the most famous of the great burial mounds that characterized Japan from circa 250 to 600 CE. This example of a haniwa (ceramic figure), standing erect in complete warrior's gear and armor, is one of the best known in Western collections.

・ Seated Amida (late Heian period. 12th century,. wood with traces of laquer,  gilding  and pigment). This sculpture of Amida, Lord of the Western Paradise, reflects the classical style of Buddhist art during the late Heian period. Its supremely elegant carving is an expression of the courtly culture that thrived in the 12th century and derives from the style of the great. religious sculptor, Jo)cho.

・ Fugen Bosatsu (bodhisattva samantabhadra) (early Kamakura period, 13th century; hanging scroll, ink, colors and gold on silk). This painting depicts the bodhisattva Fugen, an embodimenf of wisdom, astride an elephant. lt is a superb example of Buddhist painting during one of the greatest periods of that are form in Japan.

・ Large Jar (tsubo) (Muromachi period, 15th century; stoneware with natural glaze). Rustic, awkward, but strikingly charming,  Shigaraki wares long appealed to connoisseurs of the tea ceremony; today they engage the sophisticated, critical eye of modern ceramics lovers, This jar is a stunning example of Shigaraki ware and is among the best known of its kind in America.

・ Bird with Long Tail Feathers, by Kano Yosetsu (Muromachi period, hanging scroll, ink and colors on paper, late 16th century).  Inspired by the bird-and-flower paintings of China's Southern Song dynasty (12th-13th centuries), exotic birds were a favorite subject in Japan. This rare work by a master of the Kano School, the dominant painting academy from the Muromachi period, demonstrates the highest level of Japan's secular painting

・ Pine, Bamboo, and Plum (Three Friends of Winter) by Maruyama Okyo, 1733-1795 (pair of six-fold screens; ink and gold on paper). This spectacular pair of screens by one of the most inventive artists of the early modern period presents a bold, minimal composition of the traditional theme, "the three friends of winter." Okyo created a new style based on his study of Western prints and observation of nature, and the school he founded thrived
into the 20th century. This is among the finest of Okyo's screens known anywhere in the world.

Chou Moushu

Admiring a Lotus 

©Japan Society

Dish with Handle 

©Japan Society

Architectural Designs for the New Asian

The exhibition also includes a section devoted to the plans and models for architect Gae Aulenti's renovation of San Francisco's 1917 Beaux-Arts public library at the Civic Center, the future home of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Gae Atulenti of Milan, widely recognized as a premier museum and exhibition designer, specializes in the adaptive reuse of historic structures to museum spaces. Her award-winning projects include the Musee D'Orsay in Paris (1986), the Palazzo Grassi in Venice (1986) and the National Museum of Catafan Art in Barcelona (in progress). The new museum will provide roughly 75 percent more space than the AAM's current Golden Gate Park location; exhibition space will increase by more than 30 percent. The museum's educational and library space
will more than triple to support the wide range of educational and cultural program's for which the museum is known.

Gae Aulenti's conceptual design revitalizes the 1917 structure by creating a new heart for the building while respecting its historic elements and framework, An indoor skylit court incorporating the historic entrance and grand staircase provides a dramatic focus for the new museum's central and public space, while reworked interior walls afford views into the galleries, creating a sense of openness and orientation as visitors circulate and look down onto the court.

Dr. Yoko Woodson Curator of Japanese Art at the AAM, is the exhibition curator. An extensive brochure published by Japan Society and two scholarly catalogues of the Japanese art collections at the AAM, The Art of Japan: Master works in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco by Yoshiko Kakudo and Exquisite Pursuits: Japanese Art in the G.C. Packard Collection by Yoko Woodson and Richard L. MeIIott, accompany the show.
or the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco opens during New York's Asia Week (beginning March 19) which has, in recent years, gained international acclaim as New York has garnered increasing attention as the global center for Asian an collecting, scholarship and exhibition.

The exhibition is made possible by The Rosenkranz Foundation and The WLS. Spencer Foundation. Additional assistance is provided by Frederick L. Gordon. Transportation is supported by United Airlines. Programs of Japan Society Gallery are supported by the Lira Wallace-Reader's Digest Endowment Fund and the Friends of Japan Society Gallery.

The Japan Society Gallery was established by Japan Society in 1971, when the Society moved to its present building designed by preeminent architect Junzo Yoshimura. The Gallery presents exhibitions, publishes scholarly catalogues, and conducts educational programs devoted to the finest religious and classical, traditional and folk, and modern and contemporary art from Japan. As the museum program of the Society, it works with leading museums in Japan, the United States and Europe to organize major loan exhibitions that contribute to the scholarship, connoisseurship and general appreciation of Japanese and East Asian an and culture. The Gallery seeks to broaden the understanding of Japanese an by looking at specific periods, themes, styles and media in a rich and diverse cultural and historical context.