OU Museum of Art Now Exhibiting “Jiki to Hanga: Japanese Porcelain and Prints”

The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art is now exhibiting “Jiki to Hanga: Japanese Porcelain and Prints,” featuring 49 color woodcuts and more than 30 porcelain and earthenware objects. Twenty-eight woodcuts are by shin-hanga style master printmaker Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950). The exhibition runs through Sunday, August 25, 2013.

The Yoshida prints and several others are on loan, courtesy of Dr. and Mrs. Terry Taylor. The Japanese porcelain and earthenware displayed include 18th century Kakeimon ware and 19th century Imari vessels and other Japanese ephemera. These objects are part of a generous gift from Ms. Carrie Lee Jacobs Henderson, the granddaughter of esteemed former Oglethorpe University President Thornwell Jacobs.

Several objects from OUMA’s permanent collection are also on view, including a 14th century Amitabha Buddha of the Kamakura period and Utagawa Hiroshige prints given in memory of Dr. Ronald Carlisle, beloved OU professor. Haiku, bi-lingual essays and calligraphy by the children of Seigakuin Atlanta International School are exhibited in the center gallery.

Hiroshi Yoshida, Sending Boats, detail

“Jiki to Hanga is inspired by regional collectors who have a keen interest in supporting Oglethorpe University and arts and culture in the Atlanta metro area,” said Elizabeth Peterson, director of OU Museum of Art. “Furthermore, Oglethorpe offers a thriving Japanese program, has a growing international student population, and has a historical connection to Seigakuin Atlanta International School, which once resided on campus. This exhibition is timely, relevant and exciting.”


Mark your calendar for the lecture series scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition:

Wednesday, June 12, 7 p.m. “Ikebana – Blending Traditional and Modern Forms,” by Ms. Elaine Jo, Ichiyo Ikebana of Atlanta. A lecture and demonstration regarding the art of Ikebana.

Wednesday, June 19, 7 p.m. “The History of Collecting Japanese Art in Western Culture,” by Mr. John Daniel Tilford, Collections Manager, OU Museum of Art. A chronological study of Western collectors of Japanese art beginning in the mid 19th century.

Artist unknown. Arita, Japan, late 17th century. Collection of Oglethorpe University. Gift of Carrie Lee Jacobs Henderson.

Wednesday, June 26, 7 p.m. “The Genius of Hiroshi Yoshida,” by Dr. Robert Steen, Oglethorpe University Professor of Japanese Language and Literature. A lecture regarding Yoshida’s life, work, travel, and the interplay of language, culture and landscape imagery.

Wednesday, July 10, 7 p.m. “US/Japan Joint Educational Endeavor in Atlanta – Raising Global Citizens Who Are Peacemakers,” by Ms. Minako Oki Ahearn, Principal of the Seigakuin Atlanta International School. A lecture about the education of Japanese American children in Georgia.

Wednesday, July 17, 7 p.m. “History and Methods of Color Woodcut,” by Ms. Elizabeth Peterson, Director, OU Museum of Art. A lecture exploring the European and Asian origin of color woodcut and the techniques and process of printing in this traditional media.

Wednesday, July 24, 7 p.m. “Shibumi: Elegant Simplicity in Japanese Clay,” by Mr. Roderick A. Hardy, Owner, Hardy & Halpern Appraisers. A lecture regarding the Carrie Lee Jacobs Henderson Collection of Japanese porcelain.

The exhibition is supported by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, the Japan Foundation (New York), and the Georgia Council for the Arts. OUMA is open Tuesday-Sunday. Admission: $5; free for OUMA members or with a Petrel Pass. More information: museum.oglethorpe.edu.


Oglethorpe Students Explore “Stand Strong Japan” Exhibit

It’s exciting when the Core curriculum and what Atlanta has to offer come together.

Last semester I took my Narratives of Self class to an exhibit sponsored by the Consulate of Japan. The exhibit was called Stand Strong Japan and was held at the Wimbish House in Midtown. It showcased the culture of Tohoku, the region that was hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami. I was looking for a way for my students to connect with Japanese culture because they were writing an essay on Ran, an adaptation of King Lear by the director Akira Kurosawa. This exhibit provided the perfect opportunity for students to connect with the culture and it also allowed us to show our support for the people of Tohoku.

“I like studying Japanese culture,” said OU student Cayla Austin ’15. “I got to touch and feel authentic Samurai Gear and practice the bit of Japanese I learned in class.”

The highlight of the event was the introduction of the Soma Noma Oi (Soma Wild Horse Chase), one of Japan’s foremost festivals. Held every July in Soma and Haramachi on Fukushima Prefecture’s east coast, the festival features horseraces in full samurai regalia, a Bon Dance, a parade, a contest of sacred banners, and a horse chase where riders catch wild horses and then ride them bareback. In 2011, the festival, which has a history of more than 1,000 years, became a symbol of Tohoku’s resolve and recovery when the people of Soma and the surrounding area joined forces to hold the festival despite the devastation sustained by their town just four months prior. 

Mr. Satoshi Tachibana of Soma City, one of only five people remaining in Japan with the skills and knowledge to create and restore the Heian Period (794 to 1185) yoroi armor used in the festival, came to Atlanta all the way from Soma to demonstrate his artform at the Tohoku exhibition. Two suits of authentic samurai armor, video, and photographs of several famous Tohoku festivals, including the Soma Noma Oi were also on display. 

“This exhibit truly showed the nature of a culture that survived one of the worst storms in our lifetime,” said Heather Burgess ’15. “The ability for so many people to stand together and keep a cultural existence is inspiring.”

Dr. Robert Steen is Associate Professor of Japanese.  He received his BA at Oberlin College and his MA and PhD at Cornell University.

Summer Break the OU Way: Educators’ Edition II

A few weeks ago, we asked OU faculty to let us know what’s been keeping them busy this summer.  The response was so generous, we had to post another blog!  Here are more of their exciting stories: 

Dr. Jay Lutz, Professor of French, visited the country of Senegal as part of the Intercultural Dimensions Program.  He and two colleagues explored Senegal for three weeks, and stayed with the Diedhiou family in Sédhiou for a portion of their travels. 

The group participated in all aspects of family life while staying in the compound, engaging in cultural activities that included a lesson in local agriculture.  In preparation for one of their dinners, Dr. Lutz and the others pounded spices with a traditional upright African mortar and pestle. They also brought seeds with them, and together with the Diedhiou family, dug a vegetable garden in the compound.   

The group also stayed overnight in the remote Pulaar village of Temento Samba near the border of Guinea Bissau.  There, they shared a traditional West African meal, while being entertained by drummers and chanters…Check out the sights and sounds of Senegal (and Dr. Lutz dancing!) below:                      

Associate Professor of Japanese Robert Steen spent a week at the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition at the University of Minnesota, where he enjoyed the cool weather and studied the latest theories of second language acquisition with instructors from all over the world. 

Dr. Daniel Schadler, Professor of Biology, attended the 19th National Meeting of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Profession, held in Atlanta last month.  He was involved in local arrangements for the meeting, organizing and staging a silent auction that raised over $4000 for the Good Samaritan Health    Center, a local clinic that provides medical care for un- and under-insured patients.

Dr. Brent Runnels, Professor of Music, has been spending his time on stage this summer.  He conducted Jazz Orchestra Atlanta with special trumpeter Marcus Printup from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.  The concert was featured on the front page of the Marietta Daily Journal newspaper:  Continue reading