Miyashita Zenji Kyo Shiro Chawan

Miyashita Zenji

Potter: Miyashita Zenji

Approximate size: W4.3″ by by H3.7″ or 11.0 by 9.4 cm

This is a Kyo ware chawan, ceremonial tea bowl with a soft shiro, white glaze by distinguished artist Miyashita Zenji (1939-2012). As the eldest son of master potter and porcelain artist Miyashita Zenju (1901-1968), he went to Kyoto Municipal University of Arts and studied under the Living National Treasure potters Tomimoto Kenkichi and Kondo Yūzō. This bowl appears to be unused and the glaze has a creamy white hue that is quite pleasing. The glaze is irregularly applied around the koudai. The clay has been textured in such a way that it gives the user grip without having sharp edges or being unpleasing to touch. The bowl has a soft appearance and the little fluctuations, the details in the glaze make this one chawan to cherish.

Works by Miyashita Zenji are held in the Freer-Sackler, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, and the Brooklyn Museum the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and of course the National Museums of Modern Art both in Kyoto and Tokyo among a host of others.

Early in his career he started working with celadon which is considered to be one of the most difficult glazes as it relies heavily on shape and extreme control of firing to result in flawless pieces. He worked with and was inspired by artists like Yagi Kazuo, Suzuki Osamu and Kiyomizu Kyūbey. Miyashita was affiliated with Seitōkai and the Nitten group (starting in 1964), exhibiting in their annual competitions, which he won 18 times. His works have been included in exhibitions throughout the world and were acquired by major museums in Japan, the US and Europe. It is no exaggeration to say he was one of the most famous potters of Japan.

Works by Miyashita Zenji are held in the following, non-exhaustive list of public collections museum collections

Aichi Prefectural Museum, Japan
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA
Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand
British Museum, London, UK
Brooklyn Museum, NY
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY
Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN
Japan Foundation, New York, NY
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Japan
Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives, Japan
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN
Musée Cernuschi, Paris, France
Musée des Arts Décoratif, Paris, France
Musée National de Cèramique, Sèvres, France

Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo, Japan
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Museum of Modern Art, Shiga, Japan
Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama, Japan
Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, Japan
National Museum of Asian Art, Washington, DC
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
Newark Museum, NJ
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
Portland Museum of Art, OR
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada
St. Louis Museum of Art, MO
Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan
Spencer Art Museum, Lawrence, KS
Stiftung Keramion, Frechen, Germany
Worcester Art Museum, MA

His mature work was a modern embodiment of a classic Kyoto mode associated with the Heian period (794–1185). He applied delicate layers of color — reminiscent of multilayered court robes or decorated papers made for inscribing poetry — using not over-glaze enamels or glazes but clay itself, dyed with mineral pigments.

Sackler Art Museum

The chawan bears the master’s seal and condition is mint. Comes complete with the original, high quality shiho san paulownia tomobako or storage box with kiln stamp, calligraphy & artist signature on the lid. Comes with a fine stamped tomonuno or tea-cloth.

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