The Genius of Japanese Lacquer: Masterworks by Shibata Zeshin

The Genius of Japanese Lacquer: Masterworks by Shibata Zeshin

Friday, March 21, 2008 — Sunday, June 15, 2008

SHIBATA ZESHIN (1807–1891) The Ibaraki Demon Snatches Back Her Arm (about 1839–40), hanging scroll; ink and colors on paper. 51 1/2 x 62 1/10 in.

Shibata Zeshin (1807–1891) is history’s greatest lacquer artist, recognized worldwide for his exquisitely detailed lacquered boxes, panels, sword mounts, and other objects, as well as scrolls painted in both ink and lacquer. In addition to his mastery of traditional techniques, Zeshin developed a range of daring new lacquer textures and finishes imitating rusty iron, rough seas, patinated bronze, and even the delicate grain of Chinese rosewood. With The Genius of Japanese Lacquer: Masterworks by Shibata Zeshin, Japan Society presents the finest collection of the artist’s works ever assembled outside of Japan.

This exhibition is organized by the San Antonio Museum of Art and Japan Society, and is based on the collection of Catherine and Thomas Edson.

Support for this exhibition is provided by the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Vanessa and Henry Cornell, Chris A. Wachenheim, The Blakemore Foundation, Bonhams, Christie’s Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Studzinski, Kajima Foundation, Malcolm Fairley Japanese Works of Art, and the Leadership Committee for The Genius of Japanese Lacquer: Masterworks by Shibata Zeshin.

Transportation assistance is provided by 

Media sponsorship is provided by      

As part of the Millennium on View program, Millennium UN Plaza is the preferred hotel partner of Japan Society’s Centennial.

Exhibitions at Japan Society are also made possible in part by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and the Friends of the Gallery. Installations at Japan Society Gallery are supported by a generous gift from Henry Cornell.


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