Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Space shuttle Discovery flown over Washington, D.C.

Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft flies near the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Washington D.C. Photo Credit: (NASA/Rebecca Roth)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hokusai: 36 Views of Mount Fuji at the Sackler

The most acclaimed print series by Japan’s most famous artist, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) contains images of worldwide renown, including Under the Wave off Kanagawa, better known as the "Great Wave." First published for the New Year of 1831, the series was a landmark in Japanese print publishing, incorporating innovative compositions, techniques, and coloration and establishing landscape as a new subject. As part of the Japan Spring celebration, the Sackler presents examples of all 46 prints in the series—which was continued under its original title due to the great popularity of Hokusai’s designs—including several rare, early printings featuring unusual coloration. The exhibition lends context to these iconic designs and explores the artistic methods and meaning behind Hokusai’s depictions of Mount Fuji.
 Image courtesy of The Sackler Gallery

Masters of Mercy: Buddha's Amazing Disciples at the Sackler Gallery

From 1854 until his death in 1863, Japanese artist Kano Kazunobu (born 1816) labored to produce one hundred paintings depicting the miraculous interventions and superhuman activities of the five hundred disciples of the Buddha. The project was commissioned by Zōjōji, an elite Pure Land Buddhist temple in Edo (modern-day Tokyo). Now widely regarded as one of the most impressive feats of Buddhist iconography created during the Edo period (1615–1868), this remarkable ensemble was largely overlooked through much of the twentieth century.

A revival of interest began in the 1980s and culminated in a major exhibition in Tokyo in spring 2011, held to commemorate the eight-hundredth anniversary of the death of Hōnen (1133–1212), founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism. Zōjōji collaborated with the Edo-Tokyo Museum and noted scholars to produce the exhibition, which featured all one hundred paintings along with related works and documentary material. The whole ensemble had not been viewed publicly since World War II.

 Images courtesy of The Sackler Gallery

  Fantastic Monasticism
Navigating the Six Realms
The Twelvefold Dhuta Practice
Supernatural Powers
Birds and Beasts
Visiting the Dragon Palace
The Seven Misfortunes
Visiting the Four Continents