The Walters Art Museum

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Opening Day Talk: Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics


Sunday, February 23, 2014


02:00 PM–03:00 PM

Opening Day Talk: Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics

Japanese culture gave rise to many distinct and beautiful artistic traditions.  Among the most loved and vibrant is that of Japanese flower arranging, or Ikebana. The immediately identifiable floral arrangements made by Ikebana designers follow precisely defined and planned patterns, responsive to the availability of seasonal plants and the emotive goals of the arranger.  The rules that guide the many different schools of Ikebana design lead to a wide range of eccentric and engaging presentations, and rely on a host of interesting vases, bowls, and other containers that serve as a frame, or slate, for the artistic arrangement. This talk, by Dr. Robert Mintz, Chief Curator and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art, will explore the roots of Ikebana, the rules that generally give structure and form to Ikebana arrangements, and the impact of the flower arranging traditions on the styles, forms, and surfaces of flower vessels made in recent years for contemporary Ikebana presentations. Through images of the ceramic works included in the special exhibition Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics, this talk will highlight the essential relationship between Ikebana and the production of the newest of Japan’s ceramic arts.

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