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Crows

Photo: Seiji Shirono, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo

Crows

early 17th century

This pair of screens creates mesmerizing visual drama through the artful placement of black birds on a gold background. SAM’s founding director, Dr. Richard Fuller, who acquired Crows in 1936, appreciated how the screens show “the Japanese genius of mentally recording the appearance of birds in motion.” Even though the artist of this work remains unknown, the screens have been an inspiration for artists for centuries. One of the most recent examples is Tabaimo’s 2016 video installation in this gallery.
Pair of six panel screens; ink and gold on paper
61 9/16 x 139 5/16 in. (156.3 x 353.8 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
36.21.1
Photo: Seiji Shirono, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo
location
Not currently on view

Resources

Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Tabaimo: Utsutsushi Utsushi, November 11, 2016 - February 26, 2017

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Luminous: The Art of Asia, October 13, 2011 - January 8, 2012

Tokyo, Japan, Suntory Museum of Art, Luminous Jewels: Masterpieces of Asian Art From the Seattle Art Museum, July 25 - September 6, 2009; Tour Schedule: Kobe City Museum, September 19 - December 6, 2009; Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art, December 23, 2009 - February 28, 2010; MOA Museum of Art, March 13 - May 9, 2010; Fukuoka Art Museum, May 23 - July 19, 2010

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Masterpieces of Japanese Art from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, November 1, 1998 - March 1, 1999

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Flights of Fancy: Natural and Supernatural Images In Japanese Art, December 9, 1998 - August 1, 1999

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Signs of Fortune, Symbols of Immortality, November 2, 2000 - July 25, 2001

New York, New York, Japan Society, Arts of Kazari: Japan on Display, 15th - 19th Centuries, October 15, 2001 - April 13, 2003

Tokyo, Japan, Nezu Institute of Fine Arts, Screens from the Nezu Collection, April 15, 2006 - April 26, 2006

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Five Masterpieces of Asian Art: The Story of their Conservation, May 5, 2007 - September 9, 2007

Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, Exhibition of Japanese Screens, 1964

Los Angeles, California, UCLA Art Council and Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery, Birds, Blossoms, Bees and Bugs - The Nature Of Japan, March 30 - May 23, 1976

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, A Thousand Cranes: Treasures of Japanese Art, February 5 - July 12, 1987

Boston, Massachusetts, Yamanaka & Co., Yamanaka Exhibition of Japanese Buddhist Art, 1936

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Japanese Art in the Seattle Art Museum, 1960

Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, Japanese Painted Screens, 1953
Published ReferencesMiller, Angela, Buddha's Birds, Shambala Sun, January 2015, pp. 64-65.

Explore the Art of Luminous: Crows Screen. YouTube video, 2011. http://youtu.be/YNhbiewknek.

Ronnberg, Ronn, Editor, The Book of Symbols, Taschen, 2010, illustrated pg. 250

Kawai, Masatomo, Yasuhiro Nishioka, Yukiko Sirahara, editors, Luminous Jewels: Masterpieces of Asian Art From the Seattle Art Museum, 2009, The Yomiuri Shimbun, catalogue number 42

The International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, Journal, Autumn 2008, pg. 11

Seattle Art Museum: Bridging Cultures, London: Scala Publishers Ltd. for the Seattle Art Museum, 2007, pp. 20-21, illus. p. 20

Mathes, Charles, Treasures of American Museums, Mallard Press, 1991: 4

Selected Works, Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1991, pp. 194-195

Hubbard, Guy, Art in Action, Coronado Publishers, Inc., 1987. p. 70 illus.

Hagen, Margaret A., Varieties of Realism: Geometries of Representational Art, Cambridge University Press, 1986. p. 244, fig. 9.4

Fuller, Richard E., Japanese Art in the Seattle Art Museum: An Historical Sketch, Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1960 ("Presented in commemoration of the Hundredth Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and the United States of America"), no. 105a and b

Morgan, Whitney N., Museum Acquisitions, in Parnassus, Vol. 10, No. 1 (January 1938), pp. 26-29

Wolff, John Gendo, Sensei. The Driftwood Shrine: Discovering Zen in American Poetry. Richmond Hill: The Sumeru Press Inc., 2016; p. 92

Grantmakers in the Arts. GIA Reader Volume 24, no. 1 (Winter 2013): cover

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.