Among Friends

Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Thematic Gallery

October 28 – February 27, 2022

Community lies at the heart of cultural practice in Japan. Art is a way to engage in conversation, celebrate shared values, and contribute new insights. This conversation can transcend both time and space, and happen not only with friends near at hand, but also with luminaries from the past, whose presence continues to be felt through the traces of their brush. Similarly, art reaches beyond the audience for whom it was first intended, inviting future generations to add their own voices.

Tomioka Tessai (1836–1924), who was actively involved in the arts throughout his long career, is the thread that connects the various artists and artworks in this exhibition, including his mentor, the nun Ōtagaki Rengetsu (1791–1875)—who endured the tragic deaths of her family to become an inspired poet and artist—to the brash young Hashimoto Kansetsu (1883–1945), who boldly reinvented the tradition of the scholar-artist.

Among Friends: Collaboration in Japanese Art, located in the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Thematic Gallery, brings together painting, calligraphy, poetry and ceramics to reveal the connections between these artists and the importance of an artistic community during the dynamic beginnings of the modern period.

Tomioka Tessai (1836-1924) Imao Keinen (1845-1924) Tajika Chikuson (1864-1922).
Set of Five Blue-and-white Sencha Cups Japan, Taishō period, 1911-1912
Porcelain decorated in underglaze blue
Purchase, 2005 (13226.1-5)