Mia's Homegrown Asian Art Collection Multiplies

These two panels are just a foretaste of the pieces offered at the gifts of japanese and korean art from the mary griggs burke collection. The two-part piece by ogata kenzan (1663-1743) is titled “plum trees and hollyhocks.” Photos courtesy of mia.

The new exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (now stylized as Mia) features items from one of the museum’s most devoted patrons. Gifts of Japanese and Korean Art from the Mary Griggs Burke Collection represents the vast majority of St. Paul native Mary Griggs Burke’s private collection, which is considered one of the finest of its kind outside Asia. Burke generously bequeathed the 670 works to Mia, and the exhibit will showcase around 170 pieces at a time on a rotating basis for the next several months. The integration of these new pieces into Mia’s oeuvre expands the Institute’s already comprehensive Asian art collection, and cements its status as a world-class destination for the study of Asian art history.

Burke began her collection in the 1950s, and she had access to the kind of rare pieces that would become nearly impossible to find during the ensuing decades of exploding interest in Asian arts. Spanning from the prehistoric era to the late 19th century, her collection includes paintings, ceramics, sculptures, and found objects from both Japan and Korea that give insights into daily life as well as the cultural relevancy of mythology and folk tales of the time. Much of the collection was acquired directly from Japanese dealers, and was the first American collection to be shown in the Tokyo National Museum. The extensive exhibit also includes a life-size recreation of a Japanese tearoom and pages from an illustrated Tale of Genji.

Gifts of Japanese and Korean Art is open now through May 8, 2016 in the Japanese Art Galleries. Mia concludes its anniversary year with Delacroix’s Influence: The Rise of Modern Art from Cézanne to van Gogh, which is set to open Oct. 18 and run through Jan.10.

Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis, artsmia.org