Writing Box with Cranes and Pine Motif
Writing Box with Cranes and Pine Motif

Writing Box with Cranes and Pine Motif


Artist
Kamisaka Sekka (Japanese, 1866 – 1942)
Date
Early 20th century
Medium
Lacquered wood, metalic pigments
Dimensions
Work : 1 1/2 x 4 x 9 in. (3.81 x 10.16 x 22.86 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Wilson Grabill, in honor of Mike Brummel, Class of 1957
Object Number
2013.7.1

Label
Kamisaka Sekka was among the most important Japanese designers of the early 20th century. A master of the modern Rimpa school, Sekka created designs for screen and scroll paintings, woodblock prints, lacquers, ceramics and cloisonné enamels. In 1901 and 1910 Sekka traveled to Europe where he absorbed influences from Art Nouveau and Impressionism. His work served as an influential bridge between traditional and modern currents in 20th century Japanese art. The stylized crane and pine motif on this writing box is an excellent example of Sekka’s design aesthetic. Because the Japanese believed that both cranes and pine trees live for hundreds of years, they were considered symbols of longevity in Japanese culture and often appeared together in Japanese art. The decoration on this box would have made it a suitable gift for an older person with literary inclinations.

Object Type
Lacquer