Winter 2006/07 Exhibition

The Beauty of Sharing: Twelve Collectors' Visions of Japanese Art

December 5, 2006 – March 17, 2007

What is the value and purpose of collecting art? Too often, art acquisition is associated only with power and prestige, and assumed to be the empty, self-aggrandizing ambition of the elite. Yet historically, important collections have been put together at various economic levels, following the insights of keen acquirers, who develop personally through their engagements with art, and ultimately reveal themselves capable of great sacrifices for the public and the works they love. Rather than dispersing a lifetime's collecting for economic gain, for example, many collectors in the last century have discovered the museum as the ideal repository for their treasures. Knowing that works will be preserved and enhanced for the enjoyment of all by the openness, expertise, display and storage conditions these institutions offer, many collectors choose public service as the ultimate end for their acquisitions. The collector and the museum thus form a partnership that offers the potential for great art to be seen, researched, and appreciated for generations to come.

Okada Hankō, Best Season for the Mountains
Okada Hankō
Best Season for the Mountains
Hanging scroll
[Sansō Collection; Promised gift to the Clark Center]

In its upcoming exhibit, the Clark Center seeks to highlight the role of collectors in its own development, displaying selections of the promised gifts and recent acquisitions that will enrich the Center's exhibitions and research holdings for generations to come. Drawing from the private collections of some dozen benefactors of the Center from the San Joaquin Valley of California and beyond, "The Beauty of Sharing" seeks to give a small glimpse into the future, displaying works and even some genres of Japanese art never before seen at the Clark Center, but that have been pledged to someday find their home here. The variety of art in the exhibition—from folk craft, export ceramics, traditional prints and modern furniture, to the hanging scrolls, screens, contemporary ceramics and woven bamboo perhaps more familiar to our regular visitors—will be unprecedented at the Clark Center, revealing the power of the collector's vision to focus and transform the meaning of art and its experience for us.

Yamamoto Baiitsu, Pomegranate and Bird
Yamamoto Baiitsu,
Pomegranate and Bird
Hanging scroll
[Gift of Col. & Mrs. Prentice B. Peabody]

Curated by Daniel McKee, Curator
This exhibition has received generous financial support from Wendy and Stan Simpson as well as valuable assistance from the numerous benefactor-collectors it showcases.
The Clark Center for Japanese Art appreciates the promotional support it receives from: KVPT
Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday 1 – 5 pm. Closed on national holidays and during the month of August.
Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for students with valid ID. Children 12 and under free.
Weekly docent tours are held Saturdays at 1 pm and guided group tours can be arranged by calling the Center in advance at (559) 582-4915.