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Decorative Arts | 16th–19th century

"Decorative Arts | 16th–19th century"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 8  April 27, 2021 (Tue) - July 18, 2021 (Sun)

Large Dish with an Elephant being Washed, Imari ware, Edo period, 18th–19th century (Gift of Dr. Hirano Kōsuke)

From the late 16th century, changes in society helped artisans to develop the decorative arts. In the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1573–1603), samurai warlords united Japan after more than a century of fighting. The following Edo period (1603–1868) saw economic growth under a new samurai government, with merchants and other people gaining the wealth to buy art.

Potters succeeded in making Japan's first porcelain in the early 17th century. Methods for decorating porcelain and other ceramics then became more diverse, as shown by works with gold, silver, and color enamels. Meanwhile, textiles saw rapid technical advances. The loom was improved to make complex weaves possible, while dyeing became as detailed and expressive as painting.

Items like furniture and dining sets were coated with lacquer and decorated with metal powders, most often gold. Lacquer workers refined this technique, called maki–e, and combined it with new materials for more elaborate designs. Metalworkers also began using a wider variety of base metals and alloys, creating works with greater detail and precision.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 5 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Lunchbox with Men Moving Stones Edo period, 17th century H-434
_MD_RECOMMEND Outer Robe ("Uchikake") with Chrysanthemums, Wavy Bands, and Bouquets Reportedly used by Tenshōin, the wife of the 13th Shogun Tokugawa Iesada Edo period, 19th century I-2901 On exhibit through June 27, 2021
_MD_RECOMMEND Summer Robe ("Katabira") with Cherry and Peony Sprays and Bird Roundels Edo period, 19th century I-1420 On exhibit from June 29, 2021
_MD_RECOMMEND Large Dish with an Elephant being Washed Imari ware Edo period, 18th–19th century Gift of Dr. Hirano Kōsuke, G-4432
_MD_RECOMMEND Large Four-Lobed Dish with a Carp Imari ware Edo period, 19th century Gift of Dr. Hirano Kōsuke, G-4604
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