East meets West

By GREG COOK  |  March 24, 2009

Curators Noriko Murai of Temple University and the Gardner's Alan Chong re-create the feel of that room with their jewel-box installation. It reflects Gardner's typical eclecticism — snarling shaggy 15th-century Japanese wooden fu dogs, tiny silver and enamel 19th-century Chinese opium boxes, an 18th-century Japanese writing box dazzlingly decorated with gold and silver palms, a 19th-century Indian box intricately decorated with silver floral interlace, a 17th-century Japanese screen depicting scenes from The Tale of Genji. Gardner's Martha Stewart side comes out in a (re-created) door that she decorated with 24 woodblocks — not the prints, the blocks themselves, which intrigue with their intricate carving.

The black gallery walls and spotlights give everything a feel of majesty and reverence. And draw your eye to a 17th-century gilded-bronze Chinese Buddha seated on a lotus-leaf throne. He's awesomely calm.

Read Greg Cook's blog at gregcookland.com/journal.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
Related: Three's company, Review: Littlerock, Exposures, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Culture and Lifestyle, Language and Linguistics, Japan,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEEING ANEW  |  July 09, 2014
    The aim of the RISD Museum’s eight newly renovated galleries for its permanent collection of fashion and Egyptian and Asian art seems to be “quiet contemplation.”
  •   BRIGHTNESS AND DARKNESS  |  June 25, 2014
    Constellations of mirror ball clouds dangle from the ceiling on pink cords at the center of the room and slowly rotate and sparkle. You’re invited to peer though weird, lumpy crystal-telescope-things.
  •   FIGHTING THE POWER  |  June 18, 2014
    It was around 1983 when Providence artist James Montford and a friend posed as photographers to check out the Ku Klux Klan rally in Norwalk, Connecticut.
  •   'VERY PROVIDENCEY'  |  June 11, 2014
    “World building” is an idea that percolates — perhaps unconsciously — through the visionary end of the Providence art scene.
  •   HISTORY LESSON  |  June 04, 2014
    The portrait of the sculptor Nancy Elizabeth Prophet (1890-1960) that emerges from the small exhibit “Delicious Sensation of Rightness,” at the John Brown House, is fuzzy.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK