This tribute to a great collector reveals the distinctive features of Japanese art as viewed through the lens of 50 years of collecting: the sublime spirituality of Buddhist and Shinto art; the boldness of Zen ink painting; the imaginary world conjured up by the Tale of Genji and classical Japanese literature; the sumptuous colors of bird-and-flower painting; the subtlety of poetry, calligraphy, and literati themes; the aestheticized accoutrements of the tea ceremony; and the charming portraiture of courtesans from the "floating world" (ukiyo-e).
The exhibition is made possible by the Mary Griggs Burke Fund, gift of the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation, 2015.
Basara, Ox (丑) (detail), from six of the twelve divine generals (Jūni shinshō), 14th century. Japanese, Kamakura period (1185–1333). Wood with lacquer, color, gold, and inlaid crystal eyes; H. 19 5/16 in. (49 cm); Base: L. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm), W. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015 (2015.300.254a–f)