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Decorative Arts | 16th–19th century

"Decorative Arts | 16th–19th century"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 8  October 5, 2021 (Tue) - December 25, 2021 (Sat)

Large Dish with Brushwood Fences, Nabeshima ware, Edo period, 17th century

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
Armrest with Phoenixes and Paulownias Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th century H-4502
_MD_RECOMMEND Robe ("Kosode") with Waves and Floral Roundels Reportedly used by Eishin'in, the wife of Date Narikuni, the 12th Head of the Sendai Domain Edo period, 19th century I-650 On exhibit through October 24, 2021
_MD_RECOMMEND Fire-Resistant Clothing with Carp, Plovers, Waves, and Double Japanese-Ginger Crests Edo period, 19th century I-2959 On exhibit from October 26, 2021
_MD_RECOMMEND Large Dish with Brushwood Fences Nabeshima ware Edo period, 17th century G-4857
_MD_RECOMMEND Sake Pitcher with the Tatsuta River Kyoto ware, branded “Mizorogaike” Edo period, 18th century G-4732
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