Masterpieces from the Richard Lane Collection

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March 04, 2010 - June 27, 2010
Gallery 14

Exhibition Overview

As curators continue to delve into the Richard Lane Collection, which the Academy acquired in 2003, the museum presents prime discoveries—more than 30 masterpieces of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese painting and a select group of Japanese woodblock prints. Lane, who worked as an advisor to the Academy from 1959 to 1971, amassed a collection of some 20,000 works of art during 50 years in Japan, between 1952 and 2002. A follow up to the 2008 exhibition Richard Lane and the Floating World, this exhibition explores the range of Lane’s interests as a collector and connoisseur.

Among the earliest paintings discovered in the Lane Collection are a Chinese hanging scroll on silk of Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, painted by a Chan (Zen) monk in the 13th century, and a 15th-century scroll of aBoy Riding a Goat (an auspicious symbolic New Year’s image) by Lü Wenying, a Ming dynasty court painter in the Forbidden City, Beijing.  The earliest Korean painting in the collection is a rare 16th-century scroll depicting the Chinese Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhou Dunyi in Zhou Dunyi Admiring Lotus Flowers.

The bulk of the Lane Collection comprises Japanese paintings. Among the images selected for inclusion in the exhibition are a rare 16th-century Muromachi period ink painting by Söami (who served as official connoisseur to the Shogun) of a Squirrel on Bamboo, a striking depiction of Daruma (also known as Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of Zen Buddhism) by Unkoku Töeki (17th century), a fan painting of an egret on gold leaf by the great Rimpa School master Ogata Körin (1658-1716), and a painting of a bijin (fashionable young woman) by Isoda Koryüsai, one of the greatest 18th-century masters of the Ukiyo-e School (well represented by his woodblock prints in the Academy’s James Michener Collection).

Japanese woodblock prints are represented by masterpieces of both the Edo (1615-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) periods, including works by Hiroshige (The Soga Brothers’ Revenge), Yoshiiku (Ghost Parodies of The Tale of Genji), and Chikanobu (the “Snow, Moon, and Flowers” series).

The exhibition ends with two astonishing 30-leaf albums by the Osaka painter Mifune Tsunade; one depicts famous scenic sights (meishö) of Japan, while the other depicts a round-the-world trip the artist took in 1910. The latter includes a dramatic painting of the Pali Lookout in Honolulu, among other famous sites.