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Vase with Low-Relief Decoration of Bamboo Leaves
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Vase with Low-Relief Decoration of Bamboo Leaves

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description In a clear nod to the modern world of design, Hazan's white-tipped bamboo leaves appear to wrap the surface of this large jar. The green of the leaves and the rich blue of the small patches between them are given their color through staining of the porcelain clay; the white leaf tips show the color of the unstained porcelain. The play of dramatic shapes and strong colors animates the surface of the vase. It appears to swell, as though its contents are pushing out against the constraining layers of leaves. Itaya Hazan was the first potter to be awarded Japan's Order of Cultural Merit. This honor recognized his pivotal role in lifting Japanese pottery to a new level of international respect as a fine art.

The jar was shown at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915. Maker Itaya Hazan, acknowledged as Japan's first studio potter, was innovative in his surface decoration. The relief surface decoration is mold made; a mold line is present around the belly of the jar. The lines appear to be incised while the porcelain was leather hard. The colors were applied. The overall surface was then glazed with a thick translucent matte glaze that was intentionally applied or brushed and dripped to be thicker and thinner in artist selected areas.

Date Description Narrative
2/21/2012TreatmentExamined for loan; technical study; cleaned
  • Master Potters of Japan. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
  • Itaya Hazan. National Museum of Modern Art, Crafts Gallery, Tokyo; Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka; MOA Museum of Art, Atami City; Mie Prefectural Museum of Art, Tsu; Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art, Fukushima City. 1995.
  • Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at World's Fairs, 1851-1939. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans; Mint Museum of Art Uptown, Charlotte. 2012-2014.
Provenance The Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1915; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Inscriptions [Seal] Kashichi (given name).
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1915

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ca. 1915 (Taisho)
pigmented porcelain body with celadon green and lapis lazuli
Accession Number
H with base: 17 3/16 in. (43.6 cm); Vase: H: 14 3/4 x Diam: 16 1/8 in. (37.5 x 40.9 cm); Wooden base: H: 2 5/8 x Diam: 10 1/8 in. (6.6 x 25.7 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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