This small bust-length figure represents a mustached satyr turning his head toward his left. He wears an animal skin tied at his right shoulder over his bare chest. The liquid character of the cast bronze admirably captures the rippling muscles of the satyr's chest and the flowing curls of his hair and the animal pelt.
In Greek mythology satyrs were spirits of the forests and mountains and attendants of the god of wine and ecstasy, Dionysus. They were half-human, combining the head and torso of a man with the legs and cloven hooves of a goat, and were often associated with sloth, lechery, and drunken excess.
In this monumental scroll, Nukina Kaioku has brushed a Chinese poem of his own composition, on the enduring theme of nature as refreshment for the spirit. Note his masterful variation of thick and thin strokes, wet and dry ink, stately and rapid movement.
The verses may be tentatively rendered into English as follows:
Mandarin ducks enjoy the fresh water; their graceful forms glow as they pass through channels in the reeds.
Pushing beyond the thickets [to the open pond], they call to one another again and again in the dawn.
A crimson mist breaks through gaps in the glade, its glow warming hidden nests.
Waking up with nothing to do, [I came here] to playfully row among the spring waves.
Calligraphy was considered the quintessential art of the East Asian scholar, as it reveals both the writer’s knowledge of tradition and his own persona. By following each line of text, we can visually and even kinesthetically experience the gestures of the artist’s brush, arm, and whole body. Because nothing is hidden or re-worked, the creative process seems to replay itself before our eyes in real time, with searing honesty. it is a supremely confident work, probably from the last two decades of his life.
This print consists of nuetral, muted colors and abstract designs primarily of dots and circles. The print is designed to look as if thin cracks run through the image, and a lady bug is almost imperceptible near the bottom left of the image. The bottom edge of the print has a dark strip running across it.
Black silk crepe with yuzen (paste-resist hand-painted), surihaku (silt) and embroidered designs. Five crests done in reserve (appears as white on black). Lining is plain-weave white satin for the entire length of the kimono. Collar, upper torso, and sleeves have a double lining.
This is a tomosode kimono, the most formal format, as indicated by the five crests. The reserve technique for the crest is also the most formal (versus embroidery, for example). A tomosode kimono would be worn by a married woman to the wedding of a close relative.
The technique used to create the design on this kimono is yuzen, developed in 17th century Japan. Yuzen require much skill and hard work, by first protecting the design area with a rice-paste resist and dying the rest of the cloth. Afterwards, the resist is removed and the design and details are hand-painted.
This painting portrays Saito Musashibo Benkei holding a halberd. Benkei was a Japanese warrior monk, a popular subject of Japanese folklore. Here the painting is accompanied by text, which became common on images with moralistic messages poking fun at society.
This painting is an example of Otsu-e, a type of folk painting originating not far from Kyoto in the present-day Shiga Prefecture towns of Otsu, Oiwake, and Otani. Otsu-e were produced with cheap local materials and stencils were used to facilitate mass production, making them affordable even to the lower classes.
By the latter half of the seventeenth century, Otsu-e became more secular. This humorous painting among other Otsu-e had strong popular appeal, and made their way into the art and literature of famous Edo period figures. Otsu-e with iconography associated with beneficial powers would later function as amulets.
A small container made by inverting a wheel-thrown jar with a rounded bottom, cutting out a circle in the new 'shoulder' of the jar, and attaching a flat bottom. The handle, which is simply attached at both ends, takes the form of an areca fruit. The vessel as a whole has a pale straw-colored glaze, with a rich green iron glaze dripped over the handle and the upper part of the pot.
A small pot for holding powdered lime (calcium oxide), an ingredient mixed with betel nuts and spices to make a popular stimulant used extensively in Vietnam and other parts of South and Southeast Asia.
This vessel is in the shap of a fan, raised on a mold-blown stem, on a domed foot. The vessel has a raised design on both the fan and foot and is made from orange/pink iridescent glass.
Henry and Lousine Havemeyer were active collectors of the hand-made, iridescent glass made by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany had been known for making leaded windows since the late 1870s, but only began to make blown-glass vessels in the early 1890s—not long after his work on the Havemeyer house in New York. Tiffany’s term for this opulent glasswork was Favrile (a term derived from the Old English work fabrile, meaning “handmade”); Tiffany obtained a patent for the richly colored and iridescent
Favrile glass in 1894.
Working with Tiffany to select outstanding pieces, the Havemeyers amassed an impressive collection of Tiffany’s Favrile glass; much of it was donated by the family to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nearly all of the Tiffany glass in the University of Michigan’s collection was purchased at auction in 1930, along with the architectural fragments, by Emil Lorch, University of Michigan's Dean of the College of Architecture and Design.
Bust portrait of Paris of Troy. He looks off to the upper left. He is shown with a helmet that is toped with a sphynx-like figure and long feathers.
This is a portrait of Paris the young prince of Troy and son of King Priam. As recounted in Homer's epic poem "Illiad," Paris meets Helen, the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta, and kidnaps her. This sparks the Trojan war which brings distruction to the city, in the end.
A square, leather purse with tassels hanging off the bottom. A triangle is sewed onto the top of the bag. The leather of the purse is brown, but is also decorated with purple, yellow, and green stripes.