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Contemplate Japan

As of March 15, 2020: COVID-19 Response
The Brunnier Art Museum will be closed March 15 through April 5. All related programs are also canceled through April 5, as well as the Kado/The Way of the Flowers program series April 16-18.


At the Brunnier Art Museum
Exhibition runs from January 15 to July 24, 2020 

Drawn from permanent and loaned collections, this exhibition of Japanese woodblock prints, bamboo baskets, ikebana floral arrangements, kimono, ceramics, and contemporary sculpture explores and illuminates the artistic and cultural developments emanating from Japan for the last two centuries, which greatly influenced the arts in the West.

Contemplate Japan will include:

  • Prints from Paradise

  • Sogetsu Ikebana

  • Bamboo Art Vessels

  • Historic Ceramics

  • Layers of Meaning: Kimono

  • Doll Festivals

  • Karen LaMonte: Floating Worlds of the Geisha and Kabuki

  • Priscilla Sage: Floating Worlds of Color

  • Peter Hamann: Carving Translucence


EXHIBITION PROGRAMS (free and open to the public)
All events will be located at the Brunnier Art Museum, unless otherwise noted.
Kindly register in advance by clicking on the program link.

Exhibition programing made possible by the Kathy and John Howell Art Enrichment Program.

CANCELED: Sunday, March 15, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. - FAMILY SUNDAY: Manga Comics 
Tony Liu, Masters Student, ISU College of Design

CANCELED: Tuesday, March 24, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. - Prints from the Floating World 
Andrew Stevens, Retired Distinguished Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin

CANCELED: Thursday, April 9, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. - Artist Chat 
Priscilla Sage, Ames Area Textile Artist

CANCELED: Kadō / the way of the flowers Program Series
Kadō is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Created by designers from across the country, Sogetsu ikebana arrangements will complete the experience for just one week in April. The ancient form of Kadō is the root of all schools of ikebana and the Sogetsu designs on display represent the most modern and inclusive school of practice. The arrangements will fill the Brunnier Art Museum from April 16 to April 21. 

CANCELED: Thursday, April 16, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. - Sogetsu Ikebana Demonstration, Scheman Buiding
Marcia Borel, Exhibition Co-Curator, Sogetsu Designer and ISU Class of ‘78

CANCELED: Thursday, April 16, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. - Ribbon Cutting & Reception
Ikebana practitioners from across the country

CANCELED: Friday, April 17, 8:00 p.m. to Midnight - Midnight at the Museum
Crafts, traditional music, demonstrations and more

CANCELED: Saturday, April 18, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. - A Passion for Collecting Roundtable
Marcia Borel, Exhibition Co-Curator, Sogetsu Designer and ISU Class of ‘78
Karen Duncan, Collector
Barbara Janson, Collector and ISU Class of ‘65

CANCELED: Sunday, April 26, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. - FAMILY SUNDAY: Japanese Celebrations & Symbols 
University Museums Education Staff

Sunday, May 17, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. - FAMILY SUNDAY: Kimono Demonstration 
Sarah Bartlett, Pohlman Fellow, University Museums

Sunday, May 31, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. - Taste for the Exotic: Porcelain in the Permanent Collection  
Adrienne Gennett, Associate Curator, University Museums

Sunday, June 7, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. - Curator’s Exploration  
Lynette L. Pohlman, Director and Chief Curator, University Museums

Visit the Brunnier Art Museum

Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (closed holidays)
Address: Scheman Building (2nd Floor), 1805 Center Drive, Ames, Iowa
Admission: The cost is free, however there is a suggested donation of $3 per visitor.

Image above: Celebrating the Boy’s Festival: Comparing Flowers to the Five Celebrations (gosetsuno Hana Awase) Arihara of Tsuru-ya, 1801-1803 by Kitagawa Utamaro. Woodblock print. Purchased by University
Museums with funds from the Joyce Brewer Art Acquisition Fund. In the permanent collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. UM2019.140

Contemplate Japan is organized by the University Museums. Marcia Borel, class of 1978, graciously served as co-curator for the ikebana and education programs. Karen LaMonte, Barbara Janson and Arthur Hilsinger, and Karen and Robert Duncan have graciously loaned works of art to this exhibition. Special appreciation to Dr. Ellen McKinney, Janet Fitzpatrick and Sophia Luu from Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management, College of Human Sciences, for curating the kimono selected from Iowa State University’s Textiles and Clothing Museum Collection.

Special appreciation and acknowledgement to the first University Museums’ Pohlman Fellow, Sarah Bartlett, for project managing this exhibition series.

Major support for Contemplate Japan is provided by Phyllis and Larry Lepke with additional support from; Beverly and Warren Madden; Barbara and Larry Ebbers; Dorothy and Robert Rust; Kate Gregory; Marcia and James Borel; Janelle and George McClain; Jerry and Karen Kolschowsky; H. Dieter and Renate Dellmann; Mary Herrick; Sarah Nusser and Michael King; and Fisher Residency and Outreach Funds.


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