Rinpa Screens

February 25, 2023 – January 28, 2024
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Detail, Maple Leaves on a Stream (front), Ikeda Koson (1801–1866), Edo period, 1856–58, pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on gilded paper, Purchase—Harold P. Stern Memorial Fund and funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries in appreciation of James W. Lintott and his exemplary service to the Galleries as chair of the Board of Trustees (2011–2015), Freer Gallery of Art, F2014.7.1–2

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th St., SW
Washington, DC

Gallery 5

See on Map Floor Plan

Whether displayed in private households or in temples, screens were an integral part of traditional Japanese interiors. Artists could experiment with painting techniques and motifs on these large, decorative surfaces. The three-dimensional, folded format allowed them to play with perception and to cleverly trick the viewer’s eye so that scenes of undulating dragons, stormy seas, and elegant foliage came to life and animated a room.

Explore a selection of screens painted in the Rinpa style, a movement known for stylized forms in bright colors that spanned the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. A complementary display of ceramics demonstrates the aesthetic exchange facilitated by trade between Japan and China and interrogates what makes a work of art Japanese.

Please note: This exhibition will be temporarily closed to the public from August 7–11, 2023.