NEW YORK, NY.-
In 1975, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
acquired, by gift and purchase, more than 400 works of Japanese art from collector Harry G. C. Packard (1914-1991). This daring acquisition instantly transformed the Museum into an institution with one of the finest collections of its kind in the West, comprised of encyclopedic holdings from the Neolithic period through the 19th century.
The Metropolitan Museum will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the acquisition with the installation Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from Packard Collection, opening December 17. Featuring more than 220 works, it will showcase the collection's particular strengths in archaeological artifacts, Buddhist iconographic scrolls, screen paintings of the Momoyama and Edo periods (16th19th century), and sculptures of the Heian and Kamakura periods (ninth14th century), as well as a comprehensive selection of ceramics. Some of the works have never been on public display, while others have rarely been shown because of conservation considerations. Highlights will be a pairing of masterpieces by a Kano school master and his son: Old Plum, a set of sliding-door panels by Kano Sansetsu (1589-1651) in the Packard Collection; and One Hundred Boys, a pair of six-fold screens by Kano Einō (1631-1697), which was acquired this year.