Chigusa and the Art of Tea

February 22, 2014 – July 27, 2014

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Sublevel 1 Floor Plan

Japanese collectors in the 16th century used the compact tea room as the setting for interacting with objects. Looking closely at form and surface, they singled out exceptional works and gave them personal names. These named objects could develop a reputation and a history as they were displayed and used in tea gatherings.This exhibition shows how one Chinese storage jar was transformed into a vessel worthy of display, adornment, and contemplation. Diaries of tea events reveal what the writers admired about Chigusa (tea-leaf storage jar), which appears alongside other cherished objects—Chinese calligraphy, Chinese and Korean tea bowls, Japanese stoneware jars, and wooden vessels—used during this formative era of Japanese tea culture.

Pronunication: Chigusa is "chee gu sa"

Related publication: Chigusa and the Art of Tea