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The Tokugawa Collection: Noh Robes and Masks

April 10 – May 22, 1977
Ground Floor, Galleries G-1 through G-8, Graphics Corridor, Space 33 (6,000 sq. ft.)

Installation view of The Tokugawa Collection: Noh Robes and Masks, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gallery Archives

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

Overview: 86 robes, 30 masks, and 29 headbands and caps made for use in Noh dramas came from the Tokugawa family collection in Nagoya, Japan. Many of the hand-woven, hand-dyed silk objects were from the 17th and 18th century. The display was replaced every 2 weeks in 3 separate installations to protect these delicate objects from excessive exposure to light. The exhibition was organized by the Japan Society of New York. Construction of walls and cases was of clear ponderosa pine, the closest wood to the traditional Japanese cypress, which was not available in the United States. A slide presentation, "Donning the Noh Costume," ran continuously in the show; there was also a film of excerpts from Noh plays.

Organization: Gaillard Ravenel, Mark Leithauser, and George Sexton designed the exhibition for the National Gallery.

Sponsor: The exhibition was made possible by grants from the Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia, and independent bottlers of Coca-Cola in Japan. An indemnity was granted by the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Attendance: 84,660

Catalog: The Tokugawa Collection, Noh Robes and Masks, by Tokugawa Yoshinobu and Okochi Sadao. New York: Japan Society, 1977.

Brochure: The Tokugawa Collection: Noh Robes and Masks. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1977.

Other Venues: Japan House Gallery, New York
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth