Okada, Barbra Teri, "Netsuke: Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art"

Posted By: TimMa
Okada, Barbra Teri, "Netsuke: Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art"

Okada, Barbra Teri, "Netsuke: Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art"
Metropolitan Museum of Art/H.N.Abrams | 1982 | ISBN: 0870992732/0810913615 | English | PDF | 119 pages | 22.0 Mb

Netsuke, the toggles once used to attach pouches or cases to kimono sashes, have become increasingly valued during the last fifty years. Much care was given to the carving of these small, utilitarian objects, and many of them are astonishing examples of the sculptor's skill. Barbra Teri Okada, a leading authority on netsuke, has chosen 100 of the finest of these sculptures from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each piece is illustrated and discussed in detail; techniques are explained, rich religious and historical allusions are explored, and elements of parody, satire, and parable are pointed out. The author identifies the heroes, Buddhist and Taoist saints, and characters from folklore and myth who are frequently represented in netsuke. Animals, real and fantastic, are presented, and the twelve zodiac animals, so significant in Japanese astrology, are carefully described. The less common manju netsuke—kagamibuta and ryusa—are included, and mask netsuke, which are derived from Japanese drama, are given special attention. The major artists—among them Tomotada, Minko, Toyomasa, Ohara Mitsuhiro, Masatsugu Kaigyokusai, and Joso—and the most important schools are assessed; the author's acute judgments will benefit both the expert and the novice. Those who already have an interest in netsuke will welcome this opportunity to study these seldom-exhibited objects. Those unfamiliar with this uniquely Japanese form will be delighted by these small works, which demonstrate so well that artistic energy and interest are not dependent on size.
Color Plates

Figural Netsuke of the Eighteenth Century

Early Animal Imagery

Manju Forms

Mask Netsuke

Animal Netsuke of the Nineteenth Century

Figural Netsuke of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Forgery—A Study in Connoisseurship

Glossary of Japanese Terms

Barbra Teri Okada, an art historian who has studied at Columbia University and Yale University, has helped initiate renewed study of the netsuke collections of major American museums. Now serving as consultant to the Japanese Collection of the Newark Museum, she has also been a consultant to the Yale University Art Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum. She teaches at the New School for Social Research in New York and has lectured at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, and the College Women's Association of Japan (Tokyo). Although she is not Japanese, Mrs. Okada has played an important role in reviving interest in netsuke in Japan. She has recently organized the first major netsuke exhibition in Japan, for which she wrote an extensive catalogue. Among her other publications are Netsuke: The Small Sculptures of Japan (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Real and Imaginary Beings, a catalogue for an exhibition of netsuke sponsored by Yale University Art Gallery.

Okada, Barbra Teri, "Netsuke: Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art"