ART INSTITUTE . . . CHICAGO, ILLINOIS NEW EXHIBITION
THE ART INSTITUTE UNVEILS NEW GALLERIES OF JAPANESE ART
The Roger L. and Pamela Weston Wing and Japanese Art Galleries
Open to the Public on September 26, 2010
Striking New Space Designed by wHY Architecture and Planning
Third Phase of the Art Institute's Ambitious Renovation Project
Following nine months of comprehensive renovations, on September 26, 2010, the Art Institute of Chicago will reopen its suite of Japanese Art Galleries--now housed in the new Roger L. and Pamela Weston Wing of the museum--with a striking installation that presents one of the finest collections of Japanese art in the country. Occupying some 6,500 square feet on the museum's first floor, the expanded Japanese art galleries at the Art Institute represent the first major reinstallation of the East Asian art collection in nearly two decades and are made possible by the generosity of Roger and Pamela Weston.
"The opening of the Weston Wing and the new Japanese art galleries is a milestone in the multi-year reinstallation project that the Art Institute is undergoing," said James Cuno, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the museum. "The movement of several collections into the Modern Wing last year has allowed us to better demonstrate our commitment to the arts of Asia by reworking existing galleries and creating new galleries for their display. We are more than fortunate that Roger and Pamela Weston share this commitment to our collection of Japanese art; these galleries simply would not exist without them."
Renovations to the Art Institute's Galleries of Japanese Art were supervised by wHY Architecture and Planning, who also redesigned the museum's new galleries for prints and drawings as well as for European decorative arts. One of the principals of wHY, Kulapat Yantrasast, was a close associate of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, whose "Ando Gallery" will remain a signature element of the new installation. wHY's previous work at the museum and Yantrasast's relationship with Ando ensure that the newly expanded Japanese art galleries in the Weston Wing will both respect the history and tenor of the Art Institute and celebrate the distinctive aesthetic character of Japan. Occupying the same site as the previous Japanese galleries on the first level of the museum, the new configuration of galleries offers 55% more space to display the collection. Within the galleries, movement was designed to be free flowing, giving the visitor views of several rooms at once while also providing carefully placed focal points.
Upon entering the Weston Wing, visitors are presented with a long expanse of galleries with an enticing view of a tokonoma alcove at the back. Fluid display spaces that contain art from different chronological eras are created by a series of "peninsula" cases that shape the visitor's experience of the collection. The initial gallery (Gallery 102) features pre-Buddhist art of the Jomon (12,500-300 BCE) to Kofun (mid 3rd- 6th century A.D.) periods, presenting the story of Japanese art from the earliest of the Art Institute's holdings. Due to previous space limitations, works from these periods had never been given their own permanent area. Continuing on from this first room, visitors will find a large gallery displaying religious art, including Buddhist and Shinto paintings and sculpture (Galleries 103 and 104). The rare eighth-century dry-lacquer bodhisattva attributed to the Todaiji workshop in Nara has found a new home here, as has a newly acquired placid female Shinto deity of the twelfth century.
Arts related to the Japanese practice of ritualized tea service, or chanoyu, will be on view at the end of this axis (Gallery 106). While not modelled on any particular location in Japan, the creation of this area is inspired by the great tea rooms of the 1620s that show the influence of Kobori Enshu (1579-1647), a tea master, garden designer, architect, poet, and calligrapher. The tokonoma , staggered shelves, and other architectural features of these tea rooms allowed imperial and daimyo aesthetes to display their burgeoning collections of tea utensils, an approach replicated in the new Art Institute galleries with shelves that feature wares from the seventeenth century to the present day, including recent museum acquisitions of contemporary ceramics and bamboo baskets. At this point, visitors can turn right into a gallery that features rotations of the Art Institute's renowned collection of Japanese woodblock prints or left into an entirely new room with a display of items such as kimono, textiles, lacquer, and metalwork, together with paintings from the Edo period (1603-1868) to the present day. Such a display of a variety of artwork from the most vigorous era of artistic production in Japan allows visitors to better understand the dialogue between arts of all media. The experience ends with the contemplative space designed by Ando and completed in 1992 (Gallery 109), attached to the rest of the Japanese art galleries now for the first time.
The unveiling of the Weston Wing begins the third phase of the most ambitious renovation and reinstallation project in the museum's history. Refurbished galleries for Textile Arts are scheduled to open to the public in November 2010, and new galleries for the museum's collection of African and Indian Art of the Americas are slated for a February 2011 opening.
About Roger L. and Pamela Weston
Roger L. Weston was chairman, president, CEO, and majority shareholder of GreatBanc, Inc., a Chicago-based multibank holding company that he founded in 1986 and that was later acquired by Citizens Bank in 2006. As of 1997, he was chairman of Minotaur Fine Arts, Ltd., a gallery that specializes in 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings, sculptures, prints, and tapestries in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Weston became a life trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009; at the museum, he also serves as the Vice Chair of the Art Institute's Committee on Asian and Ancient Art, and is a Jade Member of the Asian Art Council. Mr. Weston and his wife, Pamela, reside in Winnetka, Illinois.
Images: Digital gallery rendering, Weston Wing and Japanese Art Galleries. Copyright © 2010 wHY Architecture.
Japan, Head of a Warrior , 6th century. Earthenware. â€¨25.5 x 15.5 x 12.2 cm (10 x 6 1/8 x 4 3/4 in.)â€¨. Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; Alyce and Edwin DeCosta and the Walter E. Heller Foundation Fund; Robert Allerton Trust.
KHUBILAI KHAN WORKS AT THE MET
Extraordinary Chinese Works from Dramatic Era of Khubilai Khan to Open in Landmark Fall Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum
- September 28, 2010- January 2, 2011
- Press preview: Monday, September 20, 10:00 a.m. - noon
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present a major international loan exhibition devoted to the art of the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368)—one of the most dynamic and culturally rich periods in Chinese history—beginning September 28. Bringing together over 200 works drawn principally from China, with additional loans from Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty will explore the art and material culture that flourished during the pivotal and vibrant period in Chinese culture and history dating from 1215, the year of Khubilai Khan's birth, to 1368, the fall of the Yuan dynasty. The assemblage of extraordinary works will include paintings and sculpture, as well as decorative arts in gold and silver, textile, ceramics, and lacquer, and the exhibition will highlight new art forms and styles that were generated in China as a result of the unification of the country under the Yuan dynasty, founded by Khubilai in 1271. The loans from China will include key pieces from recent archaeological finds that add immeasurably to our knowledge and understanding of Chinese art of this period.
The exhibition is made possible by Bank of America.
The exhibition is also made possible by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Dillon Fund, The Henry Luce Foundation, Wilson and Eliot Nolen, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation, the Oceanic Heritage Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Florence and Herbert Irving, and Jane Carroll.
It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Organized thematically, the exhibition will be presented in four parts. It will open with a section on daily life illustrating the appearance of things in China during the Yuan dynasty, particularly at the imperial court and the capital cities: Coleridge's Xanadu (Shangdu) and Dadu (present-day Beijing). It will include portraits of emperors and their consorts, architectural elements in stone and pottery, costumes, jewelry, and other luxury items for daily use. This section will provide the visitor with a very good idea of what greeted the eyes of Marco Polo when he first reached Dadu (Khanbaligh), the capital of the Great Khan Khubilai.
The next section will feature paintings and sculpture relating to various religions practiced in Yuan China, including Buddhism, Daoism, Nestorian Christianity, Islam, Manichaeism, and Hinduism. Nestorian Christianity and Manichaeism, which are not well known nowadays in the U.S. and Europe, flourished in Central Asia for centuries and on and off in China. The last period of the practice of these religions was in the Yuan period.
Paintings and calligraphy of every major artist and school of the period will also be featured in the exhibition. Highlights of this third section will be two paintings datable to the period between the Mongols' initial incursion into north China in 1215 and the conquest of the Southern Song in 1276; they will be put in a proper context in Chinese art history for the first time in an exhibition.
The final section of the exhibition will concentrate on the decorative arts, with emphasis on porcelain, lacquer, and textiles. The beginning and early development of underglaze decorated porcelain will be presented by important examples, particularly blue-and-white, which eventually became a universal type of porcelain in both Asia and Europe up to the present time. Textiles will be represented by luxury silks from Central Asia and China—apart from their visual appeal, they also demonstrate the exchange of motifs and weaving techniques between China and the Iranian world. A magnificent example on view will be the "cloth of gold," made famous the world over by travelers to Yuan China such as Marco Polo. A highly unusual carpet woven in the tradition of the nomadic peoples of the Eurasian steppes, with a Chinese motif surrounded by a Kufic border, will also be included in this section.
A variety of educational programs will accompany the exhibition. Highlights include two full-day events: a "Sunday at the Met" lecture program exploring the world of Khubilai Khan on October 24, and an international symposium entitled Perspectives on the World of Khubilai Khan on December 3. Both will take place in the Museum's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium and are free with Museum admission. An evening lecture on October 8 will be presented by the exhibition's curator, James C. Y. Watt, who is Brooke Russell Astor Chairman of the Metropolitan Museum's Department of Asian Art. The Museum will also offer film screenings, including Mongol, directed by Sergei Bodrov (2007). An Audio Guide of the exhibition will be available for rental ($7, $6 for members, and $5 for children under 12).
The Audio Guide is sponsored by Bloomberg.
A special feature on the Museum's website will acquaint visitors with key works of art and themes from the exhibition.
The World of Khubilai Khan is organized by James C. Y. Watt. Exhibition design is by Michael Batista, Exhibition Design Manager; graphics are by Sophia Geronimus, Graphic Design Manager; and lighting is by Clint Ross Coller and Richard Lichte, Lighting Design Managers, all of the Metropolitan Museum's Design Department.
Opening Concert of the 19th "Milano Musica" Festival - October 3, 2010
This year’s edition of the contemporary music festival Milano Musica concentrates on Hugues Dufourt, the great French composer and intellectual. The programme of the opening concert, conducted by Frédéric Chaslin, includes pieces by Fartein Valen, Hugues Dufourt and Jean Sibelius.
Teatro alla Scala
Via Filodrammatici 2
Central Box Office - Duomo
Galleria del Sagrato, Piazza Del Duomo, 20121 Milano
Evening Box Office - Teatro
Teatro alla Scala, Via Filodrammatici 2, 20121 Milano
Polo Fiorentino Museal
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FLORENCE . . . Saint John The Baptist
Within the framework of the magnificent exhibition "The Great Bronzes of the Baptistery. Rustici and Leonardo" from 10 September at the Bargello National Museum it will be possible to admire, for the first time in Florence, the "Saint John the Baptist" by Leonardo Da Vinci generously loaned by the Museum of the Louvre in Paris. Runs through January.
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