Formed over the past two decades, the collection of Mary and Cheney Cowles is exceptional in its quality and breadth, and unique in that it is deeply informed by classical Japanese taste as well as welcoming of idiosyncratic departures from the canon. Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art focuses on one of the great strengths of the Cowleses’ holdings: visual art closely tied to poetic traditions. Poetry, painting, and calligraphy have always been deeply intertwined in East Asia, but in Japan the nature and meaning of those relationships have evolved over time, responding to larger cultural changes. The artworks in this exhibition, spanning the eighth to 20th centuries, illuminate the central role of poetry in the visual arts across time and in diverse social contexts.
Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art
October 13, 2018 to January 13, 2019