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Haniwa: Japanese Burial Mound Figures

January 10 – February 21, 1960
Ground Floor, Central Gallery, Gallery G-8

Installation view of Haniwa: Japanese Burial Mound Figures, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gallery Archives

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 57 objects (55 shown in catalogue) were exhibited, among them ancient clay vessels, human figures, and animals found in gravesites of early Japan, dating from 2500 B.C. to 700 A.D. They were sent to the United States by the Japanese government, to commemorate the centennial of diplomatic relations between the countries. The selection from the National Museum in Tokyo was made by chief curator Seiroku Noma, who accompanied the exhibition to the United States. In the installation, the figures were placed on raised black or white circles spread with marble chips and arranged on a central platform covered with stones from the Potomac River with cattails in the center. Around the walls the cases of smaller and older objects were placed against bamboo hangings and illuminated with hidden spotlights.

The exhibition was organized by the Asia Society through the efforts of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III, sponsored by the Society for International Cultural Relations (KBS), Tokyo, and the Japan Society, New York. It was circulated by the International Program of the Museum of Modern Art.

Attendance: 26,818

Catalog: Haniwa. Introduction by Seiroku Noma. New York: Asia Society, Inc., 1960.

Other Venues: Asia House, New York
Art Institute of Chicago
Seattle Art Museum
M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco