September 01, 2003

In March we held two exhibitions of Japanese art. The first, Treasures of Japanese Art, was jointly organized by members of the Japanese Art Dealers Association. The show took place March 18-21 at the John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco, and was designed to coincide with the opening of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco in its new quarters. This was the inaugural exhibition for JADA. The association's mission is to promote high standards of scholarship and connoisseurship in the many fields of Japanese art, as well as to foster appreciation of the art itself. The exhibition proved to be very popular among the 2,000 Californians and other Japanese-art enthusiasts who attended. A Kanbun beauty painting, a pair of scrolls by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), a wood figure of a seated Shakyamuni from the Kamakura period, and Hokusai's "Red Fuji," as well as other paintings, prints, and sculptures, together with lacquerware and ceramics, were our contributions to the exhibit.

Our main exhibition, in association with London Gallery, Ltd., Tokyo, took place March 25-April 1 at the Dickinson Roundell gallery in New York, and featured ukiyo-e paintings from the Manno Art Museum collection. This was arguably the most important commercial exhibition of ukiyo-e paintings in the last century. Sixteen of the twenty-six entries in Masterpieces of Ukiyo-e: Paintings from the Manno Art Museum found new homes in private and museum collections in the United States. The paintings, recently deaccessioned by the Manno Art Museum, spanned a period of over 200 years, from the 17th to the mid-19th century. Among the masterpieces on view was a handscroll, just under 19 yards in length, depicting the pleasure quarters of the Yoshiwara and its inhabitants and patrons, by Hishikawa Moronobu (1618-1694), who is known as the father of ukiyo-e. Another highlight was a set of twenty-four paintings by Utagawa Toyokuni (1769-1825), illustrating women's life in the city. The exhibition was accompanied by a 92-page catalogue, fully illustrated in color.

Exceptional pieces from the Momoyama period form the nucleus of a select exhibit of Japanese ceramics we planned to hold in our gallery September 15-20. Included in Japanese Ceramics, 1600-1800 is an Oribe tebachi (handled bowl) from the Manno Art Museum, a Nezumi-Shino dish with a design of autumn grasses from the same source, and a Shino kashibachi (cake dish) decorated with birds in flight and drying fishing nets. For further information, please visit the Exhibitions section of our website.

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