Sunday, April 01, 2007

Japanese Art in Providence

Following a friend's advice I took the train to Providence today to see the Japanese exhibits currently on view at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum . The Museum is free on Sunday mornings and I almost felt a little guilty having such a nice trip to Rhode Island without spending any money there. The special exhibition of sixty Japanese woodblock prints from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Collection was outstanding. Without a doubt worth a special trip. Feathers, Flowers, Talons, and Fangs: Power and Serenity in Japanese Nature Prints, on view through June 10th, is lush with large colorful flowers, birds, and some animals. Some of the great masters of the medium such as Katsuka Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige are represented in the collection on display.

Another room of woodblock prints had a case with the traditional materials for making the finished product. There were some interesting monochrome prints on the walls along with works that were more colorful. A third room had a ravishing display of embroidered silk kimonos and fabrics. With a final view of the nine feet tall wooden Buddha, my visit was complete.

A friendly guard told me that he had really come to like art very much after working at the Museum. He urged me to return in May when the several galleries will be refurbished and ready to view. Just as on my last visit to the Museum, the guards take great pride in their Museum. As I was leaving the man at the front desk said that Providence had a lot to offer as a tourist destination. In the last year I have had several nice day trips to the College Hill area of the City. I would be inclined to agree with him.


At March 02, 2008, Blogger histfan said...

The Main Gallery of European Paintings on the fifth floor looks great. The paintings are hung one on top of another and right next to each other as in the style of Museum display one hundred years ago. There are not individual labels but stapled paper guides in the middle of the room.

In September 2008 construction will begin of an addition that will allow for another 6,000 square feet of exhibit space. Restoration is also underway now so some galleries are closed.

Evolution/Revolution: The arts and crafts in contemporary fashion and textiles is on display until June 15, 2008. For fashionisters and textile enthousiasts it might be of interest. It did little for me.


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