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The Ichikawa Beian Collection: An Exhibition of Paintings, Calligraphy and Stationery

The Ichikawa Beian Collection: An Exhibition of Paintings, Calligraphy and Stationery
Toyokan Room 8   August 6, 2013 (Tue) - September 23, 2013 (Mon)

  
Miaosha-jing Sutra, By Emperor Shenzong, Ming dynasty, dated 1601 (Gift of Mr. Ichikawa Sanken)

Commemorating the reopening of the Toyokan, this exhibition displays items from the Ichikawa Beian collection.

Known as one of the three great calligraphers of the late-Edo period, Ichikawa Beian (1779 - 1858) was a calligrapher and scholar with many followers. Apart from studying, Beian earnestly collected calligraphy, paintings and curios. Reportedly exceeding 1,000 in number, these objects are from many genres, including Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, paintings, rubbings, antiques, and stationery. In his final years, Beian selected from this varied collection about 260 items to feature in a publication, the Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Calligraphy, Paintings and Stationery from the Shozanrindo Collection. For each entry, the catalogue includes such details as materials, measurements, means of acquisition, and artist notes. It is a precious document that, like a time capsule, reveals the collection of an Edo-period literatus.

Beian's collection was split up after his death, but his son, Ichikawa Sanken, re-collected the objects and donated them in 1900 to the Tokyo Imperial Household Museum (forerunner to the Tokyo National Museum). After this, the calligraphy, paintings and rubbings that Beian entrusted to the Shoheiko Confucian academy (present-day Yushima Seido) were also donated to the museum by his grandson, Ichikawa Santei. This donation began the museum's Chinese calligraphy and painting collection.

From these donations, this exhibition features Chinese calligraphy and paintings, as well as inkstones, brush pots and bronze objects, which Beian treasured and included in his catalogue. It is said that Beian, forgetting to eat and drink, immersed himself in collecting; some of his collected calligraphy and paintings bear a seal that reads, "The accumulation of Beian's food and clothing." We hope visitors will enjoy Beian's views of the world, revealed through the displayed objects collected over his lifetime.

Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Plum Blossom, By Chen Lu, Ming dynasty, dated 1446 (Gift of Mr. Ichikawa Sanken)
Bamboo and Chrysanthemums, By Mu Tan, Ming dynasty, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Ichikawa Sanken)
Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Calligraphy, Paintings and Stationery from the Shozanrindo Collection, Compiled by Ichikawa Beian, Edo period, dated 1848
Chinese-style Poem in Five-character Phrases in Cursive Script, By Wang Jianzhong, Ming dynasty, 16th century (Gift of Mr. Ichikawa Sanken)
Poem in Seven-character Phrases in Running Script, By Jiudaoren, Ming dynasty, 17th century (Gift of Mr. Ichikawa Santei)
Miaosha-jing Sutra, By Emperor Shenzong, Ming dynasty, dated 1601 (Gift of Mr. Ichikawa Sanken)