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Rugged Beauty: Antique Carpets from Western Asia

December 18, 2022-May 28, 2023
Rugged Beauty: Antique Carpets from Western Asia opens a window into the artistic and utilitarian innovations of weavers, domestic consumption, and the cross-cultural exchanges between present-day Turkey, Iran, and the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) from the 1500s to the 1900s.

The stories in Rugged Beauty showcase the living traditions of western Asia, a vast and culturally rich region of the world. Each of the more than 40 objects on display were made by hand, predominantly dyed by hand, and hand-woven using the knotted-pile weaving technique. Though the individual identities of the makers are mostly unknown, the rugs' designs of rich colors, intricate patterns, and complex symbols reveal a deep history of trade, diplomacy, and foreign relationships.

Related Events:
March 25, 2023, 9am–4pm
From Workshop to Nomad: New Thinking about Rug Weaving Categories and Design Influences

Her Brush: Japanese Women Artists from the Fong-Johnstone Collection

November 13, 2022-May 13, 2023
Her Brush: Japanese Women Artists from the Fong-Johnstone Collection takes a nuanced approach to questions of artistic voice, gender, and agency through more than 100 works of painting, calligraphy, and ceramics from 1600s to 1900s Japan.

Many of the artworks will be on view for the first time to the public. Her Brush traces the pathways women artists forged for themselves in their pursuit of art and explores the universal human drive of artistic expression as self-realization, while navigating cultural barriers during times marked by strict gender roles and societal regulations. These social restrictions served as both impediment and impetus to women pursuing artmaking in Japan at the time.

Her Brush showcases works by renowned artists such as Kiyohara Yukinobu 清原雪信 (1643–1682), Ōtagaki Rengetsu 太田垣蓮月 (1791–1875), and Okuhara Seiko 奥原晴湖 (1837–1913), as well as relatively unknown yet equally remarkable artists like Ōishi Junkyō 大石順教 (1888–1968), Yamamoto Shōtō 山本緗桃 (1757–1831), and Katō Seikō 加藤青湖 (fl. 1800s). These works bring forward the subjects of autonomy, legacy, and a person’s ownership of their individual story.

Interactive components facilitate a personal, intimate connection between the visitor, the artwork, and the artist. Paintings, calligraphy, and ceramic works of art are presented through the lens of the exceptional individuals behind them, with biographical focuses that tell the stories of their makers interspersed throughout the galleries.

Her Brush: New Approaches to Gender and Agency in Japanese Art
February 25, 2023, one-day symposium

This international symposium brings together foremost scholars and specialists from various disciplines in order to reflect on the state of the field—past, present, and future—reconsidering the art historical cannon through the lens of gender and agency. In this scholarly event, we aim to add to and advance the discourse on approaches and methodologies in the study, connoisseurship, and exhibition of artwork by this group of artists.

Speakers include Amy Beth Stanley, Alison Miller, Marcia A Yonemoto, Melissa McCormick, Patricia Fister, and Paul Berry.

Fantastic Brush: Twentieth-Century Chinese Ink Art from the Robert and Lisa Kessler Collection

Location: Jackson Gallery, Asian Art Galleries, 5th floor of Martin Building

Works on view showcase some of the most important artists in twentieth-century China, including Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong, Wu Changshuo, and Wu Guanzhong. The collection includes examples by teachers and students, friends, and colleagues. All were confronted with rapidly changing times and found their own unique interpretation of what it means to produce ink art in the twentieth century.

Asian Art Galleries

Originating with a major gift from Mr. Walter C. Mead in 1915, the Asian art collection is one of the earliest at the Denver Art Museum. It encompasses rare and important artworks from East Asia (China, Korea, and Japan), South and Southeast Asia, and Central and West Asia. Its holdings of some 7000 objects span nearly six millennia, from prehistoric to contemporary art. The collection boasts strengths in Chinese textiles from the Qing dynasty, South and Southeast Asian sculpture, ceramics from across the region, East Asian bamboo art, as well as Japanese Edo period painting and twentieth-century prints.

The reimagined Asian art galleries showcase a breathtaking display of over 800 artworks collectively tracing visible and invisible links across time and space in the arts of Asia. Masterpieces include paintings by Edo master Itō Jakuchū, Northern Wei sarcophagus bearing animals of the cardinal directions, a ninth century BCE Assyrian bas-relief, and a Chola dynasty Dancing Śiva. Interweaved throughout are works by modern and contemporary artists such as Golnaz Fathi, Xu Bing, and Hamada Shoji.