A spectacular array of Japanese works of art will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this fall, in a special exhibition featuring works of art drawn from the recent landmark gift to the Museum by the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation. Opening on October 20, Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection is a tribute to the discerning New York City collector who built what is widely regarded as the finest and most encompassing private collection outside Japan. The works on view will include masterpieces—paintings, sculpture, ceramics, calligraphy, lacquerware, and more—dating from the 10th to the 20th century.
Among the highlights are a powerful representation of the Buddhist deity Fudō Myōō from the studio of the celebrated sculptor Kaikei (active 1185–1223), a sumptuous set of early 17th-century screens showing Uji Bridge in Kyoto, and Itō Jakuchū’s (1716–1800) tour-de-force ink painting of plum blossoms in full bloom illuminated by moonlight. Organized by theme and presented in two sequential rotations, the exhibition will reveal, through a single, distinguished collection, the full range of topics, techniques, and styles that are distinctive to Japanese art.
The exhibition is made possible by the Mary Griggs Burke Fund, Gift of the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation, 2015.
Beginning in the 1960s, over the course of nearly 50 years, Mary Griggs Burke (1916–2012) assembled an unparalleled art collection. It was exhibited by the Tokyo National Museum in 1985, the first-ever Japanese art collection from abroad to be shown there. The themes selected for the current exhibition, including numerous works added to the collection since the Bridge of Dreams exhibition at the Met in 2000, reflect Mrs. Burke’s own collecting interests.