The Beyond Golden Clouds: Five Centuries of Japanese Screens exhibition has arrived from halfway across the country — the St. Louis Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. Staff from each institution were required to accompany the shipments by riding on long-haul trucks for well over 40 hours. We are now installing the exhibition and the screens, and the galleries are really lovely. One of the most exciting pieces is contemporary, the From the Mountain Lake Screen Tachi Series by Okura Jiro; the screens in this series have gold foil pieces attached to them, and they leave some tiny pieces of gold foil in their wake. This is not normally what we like to see, but the artist created these screens with the intention of seeing them deteriorate over the years.
In a true collaboration, both lenders have portions of the screen and we have placed them together, and they are fantastic. The screens are a wonderful mixture of traditional and contemporary and I look forward to the public will be able to see them on Oct. 15.