Venue: Main building + Gallery 1, Annex
In turn he opened the other boxes, and as from each a fresh gem of art was brought to light I did not need to be told that I was in the presence of a master, for each was verily a masterpiece.
―from Herbert George Ponting, IN LOTUS-LAND JAPAN, 1910.
During the Meiji period (1868-1912), cloisonné was a popular export. The exquisitely delicate cloisonné created by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927) brought that art to its peak. This retrospective exhibition, ninety years after Namikawa’s death, brings together in one setting, for the first time, the complete range of his work, from his early period to his later years.
Namikawa was born into a samurai family in Kyoto. He served Prince Kuni Asahiko, and, after the Meiji Restoration, began producing cloisonné. Proceeding by trial and error, since he lacked formal training and reference materials, he worked to improve his techniques and designs. That effort bore fruit in recognition at exhibitions in Japan and abroad. Discerning visitors from other countries flocked to his workshop, and newspapers and magazines spread word of the “Kyoto Namikawa” brand overseas. In 1896, Namikawa was appointed Imperial Craftsman to the court to the Emperor Meiji, an honor that established his position as one of the most eminent craftsmen of his day. Then, however, the volume of production by the cloisonné industry as a whole slumped early in the Taisho era (1912-1926). Namikawa closed his workshop, and his name was gradually forgotten.
In recent years, however, growing interest in Meiji-era craft arts has led to increasing notice given to Namikawa. Detailed lines, rich colors, traditional seasonal motifs, and brilliantly polished translucent black enamel—Namikawa cloisonné incorporates both superlative technique and a sophisticated aesthetic sensibility. Its glow enthralls, as it has for over a century. To provide a complete portrait of Namikawa’s art, this exhibition includes sketches and other materials as well as finished works from both Japan and abroad.
Saturday, January 14 – Sunday, April 9, 2017
Main building + Gallery 1, Annex
Closed on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays（1/25、2/8、2/22、3/8、3/22）
10：00–18：00 (Last admission: 17:30)
Mar.24, 25, 26, Apr.1, 2, 7, 8, 9 late-night opening until 20:00 (Last admission 19:30)
Adults: ¥1,100 (¥880)
College and vocational students: ¥880 (¥700)
Junior high and high school students, and seniors (65 and over): ¥550 (¥440)
・Figures in parentheses are group admission fees (for groups of 20 or more).
・Admission is free for elementary and younger students and for middle school students residing or going to schools in Tokyo.
・Admission is free for visitors (and one accompanying person) with a Physical Disability Certificate, Intellectual Disability Certificate, Rehabilitation Certificate, Mental Disability Certificate, or Atomic Bomb Survivor's Certificate.
・Admission is free for seniors (65 and above) on the third Wednesday of each month.
・Pre-purchased tickets are available online from e+: http://eplus.jp
Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation of History and Culture,
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
The Mainichi Newspapers
Victoria and Albert Museum
With the sponsorship of
Okamura Printing Industries
With the co-sponsorship of
Top from left:
Pair of Cloisonné vases with Butterfly and Chrysanthemum Arabesques <1>/
Detail of Cloisonné vase with Butterfly and Chrysanthemum Arabesques <1>/
Large Cloisonné Vase with Chrysanthemum Crest and Wisteria Blossom Motif
Middle from left:
Detail of Large Cloisonné Vase with Chrysanthemum Crest and Wisteria Blossom Motif / Small, Narrow-Necked Cloisonné Vase with Chrysanthemum Arabesques/ Small Cloisonné Vase with Cherry Blossom, Peony, Chrysanthemum, and Butterfly Motifs/ Decorative Cloisonné Jar with Bird-and-Flower Design<2>
Bottom from left:
Drawing, Design for a Plate with Cherry Blossom and Butterfly Motif/ Drawing, Design for a Vase with Court Dancers Motif
Page top: Wisteria Blossom Vase
Cloisonné vase with Wisteria and Blossom grass
<1>: Sennyuji, Kyoto
<2>: Kiyomizu Sannenzaka museum, Kyoto
All works except for <1><2>: Namikawa Cloisonne Museum of Kyoto