Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection
June 13, 2017‐February 4, 2018
Featuring 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"—this loan exhibition will showcase more than 80 bamboo baskets and sculptures created by accomplished artists, including all six masters who have received the designation "Living National Treasure." Highlighting key stages in the modern history of Japanese bamboo art, the exhibition is drawn from the Abbey Collection, one of the finest private collections of Japanese baskets and bamboo sculpture; most of the works have never before been presented in public.
More than 70 of these remarkable objects—promised gifts to The Met from long-time New York residents Diane and Arthur Abbey—will become part of the Museum's collection, bringing added depth to its already incomparable holdings in Asian art and allowing the Museum to tell the modern history of Japanese basketry from the 1880s through the present. Complementing the bamboo works from the Abbey Collection is a lavish selection of hanging scroll and screen paintings and decorative arts, all from The Met's holdings, that explores the bamboo motif along with related themes such as ikebana (flower arranging) and the tea ceremony.