The Art of Impermanence -

by Adriana Proser



– Japanese Works from the John C Weber Collection and Mr & Mrs John D Rockefeller

This catalogue presents masterpieces of calligraphy, painting, sculpture, ceramics, lacquers, and textiles from two of America’s greatest Japanese art collections, which are featured in a landmark exhibition at the Asia Society in New York. Impermanence is a pervasive subject in Japanese philosophy and art, and recognizing the role of ephemerality is key to appreciating much of Japan’s artistic production. The dazzling range of art and objects in this beautifully photographed exhibition catalogue show the broad, yet nuanced, ways that the notion of the ephemeral manifests itself in the arts of Japan throughout history. Insightful contributions from noted scholars explore the aesthetics of impermanence in religion, literature, artifacts, the tea ceremony, and popular culture in objects dating from the late Jomon period (ca. 1000-300 B.C.E.) to the 20th century.  with an essay by Melinda Takeuchi (ACC Art Books/ Officina Libraria, HC, Feb 11, 2020, 208 pp, illus. 106 color, 1 b&w, 9 x 12 in)
Published to accompany the exhibition, The Art of Impermanence at Asia Society, New York, 11 February – 26 April 2020.

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About the Author

Adriana Proser

Adriana Proser


Adriana Proser is John H. Foster Curator of Traditional Asian Art. A specialist in Chinese art, over the last sixteen years she has organized and co-organized over forty-five exhibitions featuring diverse works from all over Asia. These include the upcoming loan exhibition The Art of Impermanence: Japanese Works from the John C. Weber Collection and the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection and the exhibitions Secrets of the Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in China (2017) and Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms (2016) for Asia Society Museum. Her publications include Treasures of Asian Art: The Asia Society Museum Collections with Denise Leidy and Michelle Yun (Asia Society Museum and Delmonico, Prestel, 2016) ) and Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art (Asia Society Museum and Yale University Press, 2010), for which she served as editor and contributor. She is recipient of a Ph.D. in Chinese art and archaeology from Columbia University. Proser was formerly Assistant Curator of East Asian Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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