The Written Image: Japanese Calligraphy and Painting from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection
A remarkable collection of Japanese calligraphy and painting assembled by two American collectors over the past forty years is the subject of this exhibition. Featuring sixty works, the exhibition traces the evolution of Japanese calligraphy from the Nara (710–784) through the Edo (1615–1868) period, including examples of both Chinese kanji script and Japanese kana script. These expressive calligraphic masterworks, including Buddhist holy texts, Zen aphorisms, secular poems, and intimate personal letters, embody diverse expressive goals as well as convey something of the writers' cultivation and character. The works from the Barnet and Burto Collection—among which are a notable gift and promised gifts to the Metropolitan Museum—are complemented by a selection of Japanese paintings and calligraphy from the Museum's holdings.