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JASA Programs :: 2017 Archive

January–June 2017


The following is an archive of past Japanese Art Society of America lectures and special events. Go to JASA Programs for our most current schedule.



Japan Society
333 East 47th Street

New York, New York

GALLERY TOUR Of Simon Starling: At Twilight exhibition

Dr. Michael Chagnon, Curator of Exhibition Interpretation at the Japan Society, will give JASA members a private tour of the exhibition Simon Starling: At Twilight (on view through January 15). This new project by Turner Prize–winner Simon Starling reimagines the 1916 premiere staging of W. B. Yeats' noh-inspired dance play, At the Hawk's Well, revealing how Japan's traditional masked theater form helped shape Western Modernism one hundred years ago.


The Marymount School
1026 Fifth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets

New York, New York

Swept Away by the Great Wave: A Woman Whose Time Has Come

Katherine Govier will give a talk based on her novel The Printmaker’s Daughter. The legendary printmaker Hokusai is one of Japan’s best-known artists. However, the story of his daughter Oei, considered by many to be the “ghost brush” responsible for many of Hokusai’s brilliant late works, came to light for the first time in The Printmaker’s Daughter.  Govier’s novel, published by HarperPerennial in the U.S., combines scholarly detective work and a daring narrative that shines fresh light on women and the art world of 19th-century Edo.
Govier has published ten novels, three short-story collections and two anthologies of travel writing. She has won the City of Toronto Book Award and the Marian Engel Award. Govier has been President of PEN Canada and Chair of the Writers‘ Trust and lives in Toronto, where she established and directs The Shoe Project, a writing workshop for refugee and immigrant writers, in which they write about the shoes that symbolize their journey to Canada.
After the talk, there will be a reception and a book signing. The English language edition as well as a few copies of the Japanese edition will be available for sale (cash or check only please).



The Marymount School
1026 Fifth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets

New York, New York

Flash of Light, Fog of War: Illumination and Innovation in Senso-e

Bradley M. Bailey will discuss senso-e, or “war pictures,” of the Russo- and Sino-Japanese Wars, which represent the twilight of large-scale commercial Japanese printmaking. While based on the centuries-old tradition of ukiyo-e, senso-e also showcase the sweeping changes and modernity of the Meiji era. This presentation, based loosely on the upcoming exhibition at the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, will examine the modern innovations of Japanese woodblock prints of the period, with special emphasis on technologies of war, such as shipbuilding, printing, and above all, light.

Dr. Bailey is Associate Curator of Asian Art at the Ackland Art Museum. A specialist in 19th-century Japanese art, he holds PhD and  undergraduate degrees in the History of Art from Yale University. In addition, he has an MBA from the Yale School of Management, where he focused on the economics of art, museum and foundations. In addition to the “Flash of Light, Fog of War,” Dr. Bailey is redesigning and reinstalling the Ackland's Asian galleries (opened December 2016) and is researching a show on metalwork of the Meiji and Taisho eras. In his (meager) spare time, he is translating the complete writings of the Japanese yoga painter Aoki Shigeru.



Japan Society Auditorium
333 East 47th Street

New York, New York


The annual meeting of the Japanese Art Society of America will precede Amusements in a Samurai Mansion: Male Youths as Actors, Escorts or Outcasts in Early Edo Arts, a talk co-sponsored with the Japan Society, by  John T. Carpenter, recently named the Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. From 1999 to 2009, Dr. Carpenter taught history of Japanese art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and served as Head of the London Office of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. He has also taught courses at the University of Heidelber, and, from 2009 to 2011 he was Visiting Professor in the Department of Cultural Resource Studies at the University of Tokyo. He has published widely on Japanese art, especially in the areas of calligraphy, painting and woodblock prints.

Bonhams Auctions
Gallery 1
580 Madison Ave., between 56th and 57th Streets
New York, New York
Kuniyoshi, Kunisada: A Closer Look

Joan Wright, Bettina Burr Conservator for Flat Asian Works on Paper at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, will present her work with the Japanese print collection highlighting the brilliant special effects created by the artisan block carvers and printers who transformed Kuniyoshi and Kunisada’s designs into stunning works of art. Information about the colorants used for printing, comparison of impressions and detailed images of surface effects will be included.
With close to thirty years experience as a museum conservator specializing in works of art on paper, Joan Wright received her MA and Certificate in Conservation in Works of Art on paper from the SUNY Cooperstown/Buffalo Graduate Program in the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works in 1984.  From 1998 on, as a member of the Asian Conservation Studio staff of the MFA, Joan has concentrated on Asian works on paper.  She is responsible for the care of Indian and Islamic paintings, manuscripts, Japanese woodblock prints and illustrated books.  Joan also oversees the care of Japanese postcards and with Jacki Elgar, conserves Tibetan Thangkas.



The Marymount School
1026 Fifth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets

New York, New York

Re-Creating Ukiyo-e: The Art and Craft of Tachihara Inuki

This lecture will be led by Henry D. Smith II, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of East Asian Languages & Cultures, Columbia University. Tachihara Inuki (1951–2015) occupies a unique place in the history of the Japanese ukiyo-e print as an artist-craftsman who single-handedly assumed all the tasks traditionally distributed among the members of the “ukiyo-e quartet”: publisher, designer, woodblock carver and printer. Giving up a brief career as a jazz musician at the age of 25, he set out to master entirely on his own the skills needed to make prints, using as faithfully as possible the tools and materials of nineteenth-century artisans. Over a period of fourteen years from 1978, he produced 60-odd ukiyo-e “recreations"”(saigen), striving to produce prints that would have the same visual and tactile impact that they would have had when freshly printed in Edo. From 1992, he turned away from ukiyo-e recreations to his own original sôsaku prints, using the same techniques. This work was diverse, including book illustrations, portraits of contemporary kabuki actors, and most memorably, a group of portraits of what he imagined three of the great ukiyo-e masters to have looked like. Tachihara died in the summer of 2015 shortly before a retrospective exhibition of his work opened at the Hagi Uragami Museum in Yamaguchi Prefecture, for which a handsome catalogue was prepared. For further information on this topic please consult Henry Smith’s article, “Re-creating Ukiyo-e: The Art and Craft of Tachihara Inuki,”in Impressions 38 (2017).

SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 1–6 p.m.

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street

New York, New York


We will be visiting the homes of Leslie and Alan Beller and Steven Korff and Marcia Van Wagner. Steve Korff's collection was featured in an August 17, 2016, New York Times article, which noted "This simple house ...keeps the more than 400 sculptural vases, bowls, sake cups and flasks that have quietly made him one of the leading collectors of contemporary Japanese ceramics."  Selections from the Bellers' collection have appeared in museum exhibitions (such as the 2015 San Antonio Museum of Art show on Japanese contemporary ceramics). Gallerist Joan Mirviss will be present at the Bellers' home to answer questions about their collection and, after the visits, the Bellers will kindly host a reception.



Sackler Galleries
1050 Independence Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC


For the first time in nearly 140 years, three important paintings by Utamaro Kitagawa (1753-1806) are being exhibited together, at the Freer/Sackler Museum in Washington, D.C.,  from April 8 to July 9. This is the only location showing all three paintings together. Senior Curator of Japanese Art James Ulak, Ph.D., will lead JASA members through the exhibition. In addition, our group will attend a conversation at the Sackler Gallery on “Trading in Japonisme: The French Obsession with Japanese Art,” featuring curators Jim Ulak and Julie Nelson Davis, along with Gabe Weisberg, professor of art history at the University of Minnesota and a noted expert on Japonisme. The conversation will focus on the art collectors and dealers who drove the explosion of Japonisme in late nineteenth-century Paris.

MONDAY, MAY 15, 6 P.M.

The Marymount School
1026 Fifth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets

New York, New York

The Art of Japanese Armor: A Shokunin's (craftsman’s) Perspective

Japanese armor is considered to be the apex of Japanese art because one suit can have components that employ all of the exalted Japanese arts. This talk by Andrew Mancabelli will examine Japanese armor as a work of art and explain the different attributes and processes by which Japanese armor is made and restored.  In addition, the shokunin’s difficulties in the modern world and the problems with preservation, restoration, and display will be discussed. 
Andrew Mancabelli holds advanced degrees in Archaeology and currently specializes in the preservation of traditional culture and  Japanese antiquities' identification and restoration. He is the only foreigner to have completed a traditional apprenticeship under a  Japanese armorsmith and is one of only a handful of qualified Japanese armor restorers. He currently owns and operates a gallery in Japan where he focuses on restoration and advising museums, shrines, and temples in Japan and abroad. He has appeared on national television in Japan and is recognized as a traditional master craftsman


THursDAY–Friday, june 15–16

San Antonio Museum of Art
San Antonio, TX

San Antonio exhibition tour

The highlight of our tour will be the exhibition Heaven and Hell: Salvation and Retribution in Pure Land Buddhism, (June 16– September 10) curated by Dr. Emily Sano, JASA board member and the Coates-Cowden-Brown Senior Advisor for Asian Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art. This is an opportunity to view how artistic expression of the Pure Land Faith has endured and been transformed through the centuries.
Participants are invited to a reception at the museum on Thursday, June 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. On Friday June 16, Dr. Sano will give us a private tour of the exhibition in the morning and in the afternoon, take us to storage to view some of the Zeshin lacquers from the Edson Collection and other Japanese objects not currently on view.

Also on Friday, June 16, from 6 to 7 p.m., we will attend a lecture by Professor Randall Nadeau, a scholar of Buddhism and East Asian cultures at Trinity University. Dr. Nadeau will discuss the cosmological system of Pure Land Buddhism, the Pure Land–Zen synthesis of Chinese Buddhism, and the development of Pure Land schools in late Tokugawa Japan.

Following the lecture, JASA members will convene at a local restaurant.  Cost TBD; museum fee: $10.  A block of hotel rooms has been reserved for JASA members at the Wyndham Garden River Walk San Antonio, located near the museum.  Information to access the block rate will be given to those who register for the tour.

Reservations required.
If you would like to attend, please register by clicking this link: 6/15-6/16 San Antonio Trip, then click the Register Now button and fill out the registration form. If you have any questions, please contact Christy Laidlaw, at japaneseartsoc@yahoo.com or (917) 658-3955.

THursDAY, june 22, 3 p.m.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Ave.

New York, NY

met exhibition tour

Members will tour Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection with Monika Bincsik, Assistant Curator in The Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Asian Art On view at the Met from June 13, 2017, through February 4, 2018, this new exhibition features more than 80 works of Japanese bamboo art, dating from the late 19th century to the present, the period when basketry in Japan became recognized as an art form that transcends "craft." The exhibition, including works by all six masters who have received the designation “Living National Treasure,” is drawn from the Abbey Collection, one of the finest private collections of Japanese baskets and bamboo sculpture.

Monika Bincsik specializes in Japanese decorative arts and textiles. Previously, she served as Curator of Japanese Art at the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, from 2002 to 2007 and as research assistant at the Art Research Center at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, where she earned a second Ph.D. for a dissertation focusing on Japanese lacquers.

Space is limited; reservations required.
Tour fee is $10. If you would like to attend, please register by clicking this link: 6/22 Met Tour, then click the Register Now button and fill out the registration form. If you have any questions, please contact Christy Laidlaw at japaneseartsoc@yahoo.com or (917) 658-3955.

FriDAY, june 23, 11 A.m. –3 p.m.

New York, NY

Visit to Three Special Gallery Shows

JASA members will tour three Japanese Bamboo Basket exhibitions at noted galleries in New York City.

11–11:45 a.m.

Erik Thomsen Gallery
23 East 67th Street

For the first stop, the group will meet at Erik Thomsen Gallery for a tour of Masters of Bamboo Art, which will include 44 Japanese baskets. The exhibit will be on view June 14–September 1.

12:15–1 p.m.

Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd
39 East 78th Street
The second stop is a visit to the Tai Modern's exhibition, Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art, shown at the Joan Mirviss Gallery, which will be on view June 14–July 6. 

BREAK FOR LUNCH (on your own)

Group 1: 2–2:30 P.M.; Group 2: 2:30–3 P.M.

Ippodo Gallery
12 East 86th Street, #507

For the third visit, our group will split into two, due to the limited space in the gallery, which can accommodate 8  to 10 people. Ippodo is featuring Bamboo Exposed: Mastery in Modernity of Hafu Matsumoto. This show will explore the lineage of Take-Kôgei bamboo from Rokansai and Shokansai Iizuka. It will be on view starting  June 8.

Space is limited; reservations required. I
f you would like to attend, please register by clicking this link: 6/23 Three Galleries Bamboo Tour, then click the Register Now button and fill out the registration form. If you have any questions, please contact Christy Laidlaw at japaneseartsoc@yahoo.com or (917) 658-3955.