Snowy forest

citation

Hanging scroll, paulownia inner box with inscribed lid, stained cardboard outer box with flaps and toggle closure on end.

Medium
Ink and color on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 127 × 27.8 cm (50 × 10 15/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Toshio and Yuka Fujikura in memory of Tome Fujikura
Accession Number
F2014.8.13a-d
On View Location
Currently not on view
Type

Hanging scroll

Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Hanging scroll, paulownia inner box with inscribed lid, stained cardboard outer box with flaps and toggle closure on end.

Inscription(s)

Signature: Shunki (春輝)
Upper seal: Gagyūan (臥牛庵)
Lower seal: Shunki (春輝)

Inscribe wood storage box cover

Label

1. (James Ulak, Acquisition justification, September 11, 2014)

In late 2013 we accepted for study and possible donation consideration a collection of 62 ( 51 separate titles)Japanese paintings and calligraphies offered by Dr.and Mrs. Toshio Fujikura ( Yuka) of Gaithersburg, MD. This collection was unsolicited and the approach from the family came as a very pleasant surprise. Dr. Fujikura is in his early 90s and in poor health. Mrs.Fujikura is an energetic 89.

The works were brought together as a personal collection in the 1920s and 30s by the doctor’s mother, Tome Fujikura (1898-1992), a resident of Tokyo. The collection was passed on to her son in the post-WWII years after he immigrated to the United States. The collection focuses largely on what might be called the “modernizing” period of Japanese painting occurring roughly between 1870 and 1940. In addition, there are several unique paintings from the Edo period.

The Fujikura material seems to have been acquired for private occasional and seasonal display within a domestic setting. Works by painters well-known internationally are found together with works by artists also prominent in the modernizing movements of the early 20th century but not as familiar names on the world art market. In number and in general modesty of format these works reflect the intimate display intentions of the collector. Nevertheless, the diminutive scale is maintained without any sacrifice in quality. An overarching sense of delicacy, wit and understated cultured sensibility pervades the grouping. Most works are in excellent condition. Particularly noteworthy is the consideration given to the selection of silk mountings for the paintings. Nuance, intricacy and subtle reference to painting themes is the norm.

There are multiple synergies existing between the Fujikura Collection and existing Freer collection material, the Pulverer Japanese Illustrated Book Collection and the Robert O. Muller Collection. The Fujikura collecting focus in many ways mirrors the approach taken by the late Robert O. Muller whose Japanese print collection was bequested to us in 2003; it pays particular attention to the art produced in the period of Japan’s entrance onto the world stage in the Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (1912-1923) eras. In addition, in 2004 thirty-five (35) paintings were purchased from the Muller estate for the Freer collection. Earlier this summer Robert Feinberg, former Board member, indicated that six paintings which he had acquired from the Muller Estate, including the very notable Dead Crane by Takeuchi Seiho (ELS2004.3.1) and the Suzuki Shonen (1848-1915) masterpiece Full Moon through Clouds (ELS2004.3.2), will be bequested to the Freer, or perhaps donated in the near term.

Charles Freer himself demonstrated a taste for and support for some artists of this period. Kano Hogai (1828-88), Hashimoto Gaho (1825-1908), and Shibata Zeshin (1807-91), to name a few, were Freer’s contemporaries whose works he acquired and some of those paintings are now prominent in the canon of the emerging modern movement. As well, Freer’s friendship with Hara Tomitaro (1868-1939), the collector and impresario who supported the nihonga movement, alerted Freer to developments in Japan’s efforts to create a visual vocabulary that was at once appealing internationally while retaining some traditional sensibility. Had Freer lived longer there is every indication that he would have continued collecting perhaps from among works of the masters such as Maeda Seison (1885-1977), Tsuji Kako (1870-1931) and others who found direct inspiration from some Freer’s most cherished artists of the early Edo period including Tawaraya Sotatsu (d.circa 1638), Hon’ami Koetsu (1558-1637) and Ogata Korin (1658-1716).

In addition to enhancing the Freer modern painting holdings and through use in thematic rotations of the permanent collection, Fujikura collection has the potential of enhancing our emerging plans for a more consistent profiling of Sackler Japanese holdings through emphasis on permanent collection exhibition themes exploring the transition to modernity in Japanese art.

Professor Ryo Furuta of Tokyo National Fine Arts University, a noted expert in Japanese painting of the early modern period, remarked during a recent visit to Freer|Sackler about the remarkable growth of our modern Japanese collections, both in the Freer and in the Sackler and of the unusual opportunities offered by heretofore unknown holdings such as those offered by the Fujikuras. The current holdings and potential acquisitions in all areas of modern printed and painted material continue to position the Freer and the Sackler as a destination with one of the more important and usefully synergistic subcollections found in the West for the study and exhibition of Japan’s modern artistic period (1870-1940).

Signature: Shunki (春輝)
Upper seal: Gagyūan (臥牛庵)
Lower seal: Shunki (春輝)

Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

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