LAYERS OF BRILLIANCE – The Journey of Japanese Lacquer Tools

The tools of Japanese lacquer makers are implements of prolonged use and objects of remarkable beauty. These humble, functional boards, bowls, buckets, shelves, and drawers were used to produce lacquered objects and in the process became aesthetic objects in themselves. In their myriad colorful drips and accumulated layers of viscous texture, they record the countless objects created from them. These hybrid articles tell us as much about the relationship of craftsmen to their tools as they do about Japanese lacquer making. On view through April 30.

TOOLS & UTENSILS – The Beauty of Objects from the World’s Kitchens and Workshops

Tools and utensils have extended our arms, hands and feet since the beginning of time. Devices used in the workshop and home continue to occupy imaginative designers in an ongoing quest to improve the ease and comfort with which we carry out all manner of tasks. This exhibition presents such artful objects of daily use from cultures across the globe. Most are hand-made, traditional forms, but there is also a selection of machine-made and contemporary objects — all good to handle, effective in use, satisfying to the eye and enjoyable to have around. This is true mingei — art of the world and art of the people. On view through April 30.


This exhibition explores nearly three centuries of American and European folk art from the Museum’s collection, with many artworks on view for the first time. Featured items include quilts, whirligigs and weather vanes, as well baskets and ceramic vessels. Figurative sculptural objects will also be on view, including works by Felipe Archuleta, Gerard Cambon and Beatrice Wood, in addition to anniversary tin gifts, a carnival knockdown figure, a carved and painted wood barber pole and needlepoint samplers. Exhibit runs November 19 to June 25.


Knotted Fiber Jewelry Sandy Swirnoff began creating knotted fiber jewelry in the early 1990s. Working with antique glass shards from the famed companies of Peynaud, Daum, Galle and Tiffany, she creates unique works of art that merge old with new. Swirnoff builds a custom beaded bezel and mount for each irregularly shaped glass piece and combines it with various beads. Her knotting process, a refined form of macramé, is delicate in approach yet often three-dimensional. This exhibition features approximately 30 necklaces that reveal the artist’s passion for nature, color, and texture, and will be accompanied by an 80-page publication. On view through June 4.


Traditional Shop Signs of Japan A fusion of art, design and commerce, kanban refers to traditional signs that Japanese merchants displayed to advertise and give identity and expression to their shops. From carved scenes of carp climbing waterfalls to images of seductive courtesans with painted faces, this exhibition provides a rare opportunity to figuratively walk and shop the streets of traditional Japan. On view April 15 to October 8.


Homage to the Horse and Other Steeds Timed with this year's racing season and the first ever Breeder's Cup event in Del Mar in November, this exhibition features objects from around the globe that celebrate the speed, power and serviceability of the horse and other noble beasts of burden. Pulled from the Museum's permanent collection and private lenders, this original exhibition will highlight classic horse figures and accoutrement of Asia and Europe; clay and wood horses of India; and artifacts of U.S., Native American and Mexican horse culture. Trappings for bullocks from Afghanistan to Indonesia, and camel trappings from Asia and the Middle East will also be shown, including a group of Iranian saddlebags. On view May 26 to November 12.

Additional Info


Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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