WHAT: Individually scheduled press tours for “A Journey of Taste: Freer and Japanese Scroll Mounting”
WHEN: [Open to the public] April 15–March 3, 2024; media tours begin April 19 and continue throughout the run of the exhibition
WHERE: Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, Freer Gallery of Art
1050 Independence Ave. S.W.
WHO: Frank Feltens, curator of Japanese art
Kit Brooks, The Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art
Sol Jung, The Shirley Z. Johnson Assistant Curator of Japanese Art
Andrew Hare, supervisory conservator, East Asian Painting Conservation Studio
Members of the media are invited to view “A Journey of Taste: Freer and Japanese Scroll Mounting.” As part of the National Museum of Asian Art’s centennial celebrations, this exhibition—a collaboration between the curatorial and conservation departments—will explore a range of developments in the evolving tradition of mounting artwork by highlighting the work of several generations of mounter-conservators at the museum.
At times overlooked, the fabric mountings that surround East Asian paintings are often carefully calibrated additions that not only provide structural support but also enhance the appreciation of a work’s subject and meaning. In Japan, different mounting styles have evolved over time. Within this rich tradition, patrons, artists, scroll mounters and collectors also developed individual styles, choosing the materials and formats to mount artworks according to their taste.
The story begins with founder Charles Lang Freer, who developed a distinct personal aesthetic for remounting his East Asian paintings. Freer hired two brothers from a family of mounters in Kyoto, Japan, to undertake this project. Extant examples of their work as well as sample books and memorabilia from their travels across the United States will be on display. Subsequent generations of specialists at the museum have continued this evolving practice. Visitors are invited to explore these mountings and their relationship not only to the artworks displayed in this exhibition but also to Chinese and Japanese works throughout the museum so that they can appreciate such artistry during future visits.
“By creating the exhibition ‘A Journey of Taste: Freer and Japanese Scroll Mounting,’ we could place Freer’s collecting in the context of his time and taste and share rich stories of his holistic vision for his museum.” –Andrew Hare, supervisory conservator, East Asian Painting Conservation Studio
Note to editors: Media may contact Jennifer Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule a time to interview the curators and tour the exhibition.