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JASA Programs :: 2016 Archive

January–December 2016

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The following is an archive of past Japanese Art Society of America lectures and special events. Go to JASA Programs for our most current schedule.



The Marymount School
1026 Fifth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets

New York, New York

Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back

Join us for a talk by noted author, Janice P. Nimura, on how she found her way to this story, its historical background, the selections of the young women, their journey, their childhoods in Georgetown and New Haven, their educations at Vassar and Bryn Mawr, the challenges they faced when uprooted once again and returned to Japan, and the eventual triumph of founding Tsuda College.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, 6:30 p.m.

Rubin Museum of Art Theater
150 West 17th Street

New York, New York

The Face of Heaven, the Face of Hell: the Iconography of Noh Masks 

Collector and author Stephen Marvin will speak on the symbolism and iconography of Noh masks, specifically on how the individual features and stylistic devices of each mask type define its persona for the stage. The lecture will be preceded by a private tour of the special exhibition, “Becoming Another, The Power of Masks,” with exhibition curator, Jan van Alphen. See more information about the exhibition at the Rubin Museum of Art web site.



Los Angeles, California


JASA is pleased to announce a one-day excursion to Los Angeles to see an important Japanese print exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and two fascinating Japanese photography shows at the Getty Center.

The day will begin at the Getty, where photography curator Amanda Maddox will take us through “Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows,” the first U.S .exhibition of this pioneering photographer’s seminal oeuvre. We will also tour the accompanying photography exhibition, “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography.”

In the afternoon, we will visit LACMA, where Japanese art curator Hollis Goodall will take us through “Living for the Moment: Japanese Prints from the Barbara S. Bowman Collection.” Over 100 prints are featured in this exhibition of transformative promised gifts of Japanese works to LACMA. Included are examples of rare early ukiyo-e prints; superior works from the golden age of that art form at the end of the 18th century by Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro, and Katsukawa Shunshō; and 19th-century prints by such great masters as Utagawa Hiroshige, Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Kuniyoshi and others.

It is being organized by San Diego–based JASA board member Wilson Grabill. There is no charge for the trip; however, attendees are responsible for museum admissions, lunch on their own at the Getty and making their own travel and transportation arrangements. Ride sharing is encouraged. Hotel recommendations will be provided on request. There is an optional prix-fixe dinner for participants at Ray's, a fine-dining restaurant at LACMA. Cost is $95. Sign-up and payment in advance is necessary for the dinner.


Please note: This venue address has changed.

The Marymount School
2 East 82nd Street
New York, New York

Streams and Mountains without End: The Legacy of Sherman E. Lee

Marjorie Williams, Senior Director for Endowment Development in the Division of Institutional Advancement, Cleveland Museum of Art, to lecture on Sherman Lee and Japanese art that will feature the legacy of Sherman E. Lee on the Cleveland Museum of Art during his directorship (1958–1983) and the importance of Japan in his career as a connoisseur, scholar and museum director.


SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 12 p.m.

The Marymount School
1026 Fifth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets

New York, New York

ANNUAL MEETING AND SPECIAL LECTURE: Discovering Japanese Ceramics: Charles Lang Freer and adventures of collecting circa 1900

Special guest lecturer Louise Cort, Curator of Ceramics at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, will speak about American industrialist Charles Lang Freer (1854–1919), who formed his collection of Asian art at a time when few resources were available to guide him. To acquire Japanese ceramics, one of his earliest interests, he relied upon his direct experience of Japan through several extended sojourns, the advice of a few trusted dealers and experts, and above all his own aesthetic sense, shaped by his interest in the Aesthetic Movement and his conviction that beauty was universal. This talk will consider Freer's collecting of Japanese ceramics—both successes and pitfalls—and ask how his choices stand up to a century of hindsight..

TUESDAY, MARCH  15, 11A.M. or WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 4:30 P.M.

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue, near 70th Street
New York, New York


Join JASA board member Emily Sano for a guided tour of “Kamakura: Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan,” Buddhist sculpture from North America and Europe, which is on exhibition at Asia Society February 9–May 8.

Our Tuesday JASA tour will be conducted by Asia Society Curator, Adriana Proser, with Emily Sano, former Director, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. Emily co-curated the remarkable exhibition of Japanese Buddhist sculpture for the Japan Society, “The Great Age of Japanese Buddhist Sculpture, 1987.” The Wednesday JASA tour will be conducted by exhibition’s guest curator, Ive Covaci and Emily Sano.


TuesDAY, April 7, 11 A.m.-12 p.m.

11 West 53rd St. between Fifth Ave. and Ave. of Americas

New York, New York

EXHIBITION TOUR: A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond

Our tour will be led by MoMA assistant curator Phoebe Springstubb. A Japanese Constellation focuses on the network of architects and designers that has developed around Pritzker Prize winners Toyo Ito and SANAA. Exploring a lineage of influence and cross-pollination that has become particularly relevant at the start of the 21st century, the exhibition highlights the global impact and innovation of contemporary architecture from Japan since the 1990s.

12:30–1:30 p.m.

An extra luncheon fee would apply.

1:45–3 P.M.
Japan Society
333 East 47th St.
New York, New York
EXHIBITION TOUR: In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11

 Our tour will be led by Dr. Michael Chagnon, the Japan Society’s curator of exhibition interpretation, with a welcome by gallery director Yukie Kamiya. In the Wake focuses on the artistic responses of seventeen of Japan’s most acclaimed veteran and emerging photographers to the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011, triggering nuclear power plant failure and a human and environment crisis that persists to this day. With some 100 works on display, the exhibition leads visitors through a stunning range of artistic practice as Japan continues to rebuild in the post-3/11 era.


Saturday, May 21
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queens Park
Toronto, ON M5S 2C6, Canada
Exhibition Tour,  lecture and priVate viewing

Dr. Asato Ikeda, Assistant Professor of Asian Art at Fordham University and the Bishop White Postdoctoral Fellow of Japanese Art at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and Dr. John Carpenter, Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, have planned an exciting day at ROM in Toronto in conjunction with the groundbreaking exhibition “A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints.”

The day begins with a special guided tour by Dr. Ikeda of the permanent gallery, the “Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art” exhibition and the “Third Gender”exhibition.  After lunch, Dr. Carpenter will present a lecture titled Amusements in a Samurai Mansion: Wakashu Entertainers in Early-Edo Paintings and Prints. Following the lecture, Dr. Ikeda will take attendees to museum storage for a private viewing of paintings and prints.


Tuesday, June 14, 10:30 A.m.–12:30 P.m. OR
Wednesday, June 15, 10:30 A.m.–12:30 P.m.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Ave.
New York, New York
Japanese Lacquer Tutorials

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Assistant Curator of Japanese Art, Monika Bincsik, to learn first-hand about Japanese lacquer. Dr. Bincsik is one of the most well-respected specialists in the decorative arts of Japan, specializing in the different techniques of urushi.



The Nippon Club, Rose Room
145 West 57th Street , between Ave. of the Americas and Seventh Ave.
New York, New York

Re-Envisioning Japan: Meiji Fine Art Textiles

Susan Tosk and Diane Genre invite you to the inaugural launch of Re-Envisioning Japan: Meiji Fine Art Textiles by John E. Vollmer. Introduction by Susan Peters, Past President of JASA,  followed by a presentation by John E. Vollmer. A reception and book signing will follow



Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, California


JASA and the Society for Asian Art  (SSA) are delighted to co-sponsor a very special day of Japanese-themed lectures and art. The day begins with a lecture on Post-War Japanese Art by Professor Ming Tiampo of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Professor Tiampo is an expert in the Gutai Art Association, active in Japan from 1954 to 1972, and co-curated the highly acclaimed and groundbreaking exhibition Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2013. Her presentation is part of the SAA series From Monet to Ai Weiwei: How We Got Here, examining the influences on and evolution of modern and contemporary art in Asia. Following the lecture, you will have the opportunity to enjoy lunch on your own at the museum‘s café and visit the galleries as well as the museum‘s celebrated store.

In the afternoon, Japanese art scholar, Bonhams senior advisor and former JASA board member Joe Earle will give a JASA-sponsored lecture Meiji: Summation and Transformation, in which he will introduce masterpieces of Meiji-era (1868–1912) craft in different media including metalwork, enamels, ceramics, textiles and bamboo. He will use these to show how skillfully their makers both interpreted earlier cultural and artistic traditions and created new modes of expression in response to the demands of an adoring global clientele. After the lecture, Laura Allen, Curator of Japanese Art at the Asian Art Museum, will take our group through the exhibition of Japanese lacquer on view now. A wine and cheese reception hosted by the SAA will follow.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 4–6 p.m.

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, Suite 6D
Between 6th and 7th Aves.
New York, New York

Strike a Pose: Spectacular Imagery of the Kabuki Theater

Katherine Martin will host a special private viewing of the Scholten Japanese Art Gallery‘s exhibition of kabuki prints.  There will be a gallery chat and private reception for JASA members. The exhibition focuses on ukiyo-e woodblock prints portraying popular kabuki actors in lavish costumes on stage as well as relaxing off stage. While kabuki-related subjects had significant visual influence on the West, the highly stylized nature of the theater and the complexity of much of the related imagery have created a barrier (both in language and in visual cues) to understanding the underlying meaning of many compositions. In addition to identifying the actors, their roles and the plays, the exhibition uncovers hidden meanings and explores aspects of kabuki that are often overlooked or underappreciated in the West.


Japanese Garden at Kykuit
200 Lake Road
Pocantico Hills
, New York


On this full-day excursion, JASA members will tour the teahouse designed by Yoshimura Junzo and take part in a tea ceremony. Urasenke Tea Master Yoshihiro Terazono will join us once again to demonstrate the details of this ancient tradition. JASA member Tomoko Urabe and Greg Succop will participate as tea-ceremony assistants. This will be  followed by a bento lunch (included in the tour fee).



The Marymount School
1026 Fifth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets

New York, New York

Mokuhanga in Translation: Printing, Writing and Teaching: the World of Japanese Woodcuts

Join us for a lecture by April Vollmer, a New York–based artist and printmaker who specializes in mokuhanga, Japanese woodcut printmaking. Ms. Vollmer received an MFA from Hunter College, has exhibited her work internationally and has taught workshops across the U.S. Awards include fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts,and the Nagasawa Art Park program in Japan. Her work has been published in journals including Science, Contemporary Impressions and Art in Print. She was on the board of the First and Second International Mokuhanga Conferences in Japan and her book, Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop, was released by Watson-Guptill in 2015.


Monday, December 12, 6 P.M

The Marymount School
1026 Fifth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets

New York, New York


Henry Adams will present John LaFarge and Japan: How the Quest for Nirvana Gave Birth to Modern Art. Adams,  a Case Western Reserve art historian and collateral descendant of Henry Adams, will discuss John La Farge (1835–1910) , who made a career-emboldening trip to Japan in 1886, although he had been collecting ukiyo-e since an earlier trip to Paris. The JASA annual holiday party will take place following the lecture.

Saturday, December 10

Art Museum at the University of St. Joseph
Fairfield University Art Museum

West Hartford, Connecticut

Bush-Holley House
Greenwich, Connecticut


Members will meet at the Asia Society (725 Park Ave, New York, City) at 8:15 a.m. First stop is the Art Museum at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford arriving around 11 a.m. to view the exhibit Hanga Now: Contemporary Japanese Printmakers, which features contemporary Japanese artists working in a wide range of techniques, including color woodblocks, etchings, mezzotints, lithographs, and screenprints. Bento lunch at the University of St Joseph (choice of salmon or chicken).

Then on to the Fairfield University Art Museum (formerly Bellarmine Museum of Art), which is presenting Crafting the Elements: Ceramic Art of Modern Japan from the Collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz. Carol Horvitz and Joan Mirviss will welcome the group.

Our last stop before returning to the city is the Bush-Holley House in Greenwich. The Greenwich Historical Society is featuring An Eye to the East: The Influence of Japan with a selection of paintings, prints, photographs, carvings, ceramics and textiles influenced by Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with a special emphasis on the Cos Cob art colony.