Japanese Art Exhibitions during New York’s Asia Week Celebrations

  • NEW YORK , New York
  • /
  • February 25, 2014

  • Email
Jimbaori Edo period, 17th century Hand applied feathers, silk, and fabric H: 31-1/2 x W: 28-1/3 in. (80 x 72 cm)
Leighton R. Longhi, Inc. Oriental Fine Art

An exceptionally fine Buddhist vajra dating from the 13th century, a pair of stunning and luminous 17th century gold-leaf screens of cherry blossoms, and an extraordinarily rare and resplendent surcoat once worn over royal armor and made of thousands of feathers are among the numerous treasures of Japanese art that will be on view in New York City during Asia Week 2014, held from March 14 to March 23, 2014. 

A highlight of the 22-year-old event will be JADA 2014: An Exhibition by the Japanese Art Dealers Association, which brings together five of New York’s preeminent dealers in Japanese art: Erik Thomsen Gallery, Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts, Leighton R. Longhi, Inc., Oriental Fine Art, Mika Gallery, and Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art.  The collaborative exhibition, with scores of works of art grouped by period and school rather than by dealer ownership, will be held from March 15 to March 19, 2014 at the Ukrainian Institute of America at 2 E. 79th St. 

Additionally, each of JADA’s members will hold a public exhibition in their galleries, with the exception of Leighton Longhi, who will exhibit works privately and by appointment only. 

Seven other prominent galleries – one from Asia, one from Europe, and five from the United States – that handle Japanese art will be exhibiting during Asia Week as well: Bachmann Eckenstein Japanese Art, of Basel, Switzerland; Egenolf Gallery, of Burbank, CA; Gallery FW, of Chicago, IL; Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art, of Kyoto, Japan; Onishi Gallery, of New York, NY; Scholten Japanese Art of New York, NY; and The Art of Japan, of Medina, WA. 


“The year just ended has been exceptional for Japanese art,” said Sebastian Izzard, owner of Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art and president of JADA.  “The British Museum brought extensive crowds to its exhibition, Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art, which revealed the unsurpassed sensitivity of Japanese artists to composition, humor, and eroticism.  In the Moment: Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, was the revelatory first public exhibition of works from Mr. Ellison’s remarkable collection, one that he amassed with great discernment in a matter of decades.  The Minneapolis Institute of Art greatly expanded its holdings in the field through the combined gift and purchase of works from the private collection of Bill and Libby Clarke and that of the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, of Hanford, CA, which the couple founded in 1995.  Closer to home, the Metropolitan Museum of Art began integrating works from the collection of the late Mary Griggs Burke into its collections.  Mrs. Burke also left hundreds of works to the Minneapolis Institute.

Seated Zenki and Koki (Attendants of Enno Gyoja) Polychromed hinoki wood Muromachi period, 15th century Zenki: H: 14-2/3 x W: 11 in. (37.3 27.8 cm). Koki: H: 14 x W: 13 in. (35.5 x 33.1 cm)
Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts

“We look forward to a robust and enlightening Asia Week 2014,” Mr. Izzard continued.  “It will be a great week not only for the collaborative JADA exhibition and those held by its members and affiliates but also the numerous independent galleries that specialize in Japanese art and those that are participating in Asia Week through the Asia Week New York Association.” 



Highlights from JADA 2014: An Exhibition by the Japanese Art Dealers Association


Jimbaori, or a sleeveless surcoat to be worn over armor, were originally designed to provide warmth.  By the late 16th century, as daimyo took to wearing highly ornate armor and helmets that would identify them to their troops, jimbaori became more decorative, as well.  Jimbaori adorned with feathers are very rarely found in Western collections: none are known in U.S. museums, though the British Museum, London, England, has one, which it received as a gift in 1897.  The jimbaori on view will be exhibited in JADA 2014 by Leighton R. Longhi, Inc. Oriental Fine Art and is in extraordinary condition and adorned with over 1,000 pheasant feathers from species indigenous to Japan, including the Green Pheasant, and features a bird’s-eye design on its back.  (The interpretation of similar designs as targets is undermined by the unequal widths of the circular bands.)  The jimbaori’s geometric design is unusually abstract for a work from Japan and looks remarkably fresh and modern to the contemporary eye.

Cherry Trees at Yoshino Pair of six-panel folding screens Edo Period (1615-1868), 17th century Ink, mineral colors, and gofun on paper with gold leaf Each screen: H 68-1/2 x W 148 in. (173.5cm x 377 cm)
Erik Thomsen Gallery

Recently on loan to the Kyoto National Museum of Kyoto, Japan, and published in a book edited by Nara National Museum, a vajra being shown by Mika Gallery is a masterpiece of metalwork from the Kamakura period,  as seen in the pierced flames along each end of the ritual object and many other finely-crafted details.  A rare example of the Esoteric Buddhist object, the vajra that will be on view is in exceptionally good condition.

Kutani ceramics are among the earliest of Japanese enameled porcelains. Manufactured in Arita in the mid-17th century, this dish is notable for its exceptional size and bold design. Such large dishes were considered status symbols by the powerful samurai and wealthy merchants who bought them. The luxurious green enamel used in Kutani wares proved exceptionally popular in Southeast Asia and many similar examples have been excavated there.  The Kutani on view is being shown by Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art. 

Exhibition information:

JADA 2014: An Exhibition by the Japanese Art Dealers Association

Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 E. 79th St., New York, NY  10028

March 15 to March 19, 2014: March 15: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  March 16 – 19: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM


Andrew Decker
Andrew Decker Communications

Japanese Art Dealers Association
17 E. 76 St.
new York, New York

  • Email

ARTFIXdaily Artwire