Cloisonné Enamels to Enhance Learning

Scripps College will receive nine pieces of fine Japanese cloisonne enamel from the Anthony and Patricia Ghosn Collection, the promised gift of R. Scott and Lannette Turicchi, in coordination with the Worldbridge Foundation. As part of the Scripps art collection, stewarded by the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, the pieces will enhance teaching and research at the College.

Bruce Coats, professor of art history and humanities at Scripps, said: “These remarkable Japanese creations join a fine collection at Scripps College of Chinese cloisonné from the 16-20th centuries, so students now can compare the aesthetic and technical qualities of two competing centers of production. Students will also be able to combine these nine Japanese cloisonné pieces in exhibitions with paintings, prints textiles, and ceramics to demonstrate how design elements transcend materials and create a visual vocabulary that speaks of love, longing, and the passage of time.”

Students in Coats’ art history seminar about The Tale of Genji organized an exhibition fall semester in the Clark Humanities Museum linking poems from the 11th century novel to objects selected from the Scripps College collections and promised gifts. They chose the following verse from Chapter 24, “Butterflies/ Kacho,” in which Lady Murasaki writes to the empress:

Will you look askance, O pine cricket in the grass longing for autumn, even at these butterflies from my own flower garden?

Cloisonné bowl decorated with butterflies and moths Japanese, c. 1895-1900

Attributed to the Kyoto studios of Inaba Kinunken Promised gift of R. Scott and Lannette Turicchi, from the Anthony and Patricia Ghosn Collection The brief appearance of butterflies in late summer is depicted here with intricate silver-wire outlines and multicolor enamel infill against a deep blue background. The design is attributed to Hayashi Kodenji (1831-1915), one of Japan’s greatest cloisonné artists.