Jay Gates Collection: Art of China and Japan

"The Jay Gates Collection: Art of China and Japan" is one of two exhibitions opening at The College of Wooster on Aug. 19. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.


East Asia the Focus of Season-Opening Art Exhibitions

Shows organized as part of the 2014 Wooster Forum

1 August, 2014 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — The College of Wooster Art Museum will present "The Jay Gates Collection: Art of China and Japan" at its season-opening exhibition Aug. 19 through Sept. 28 in the Burton D. Morgan Gallery. The opening reception, which includes a Gallery Talk by Gates at 7 p.m., will be held Thursday, Aug. 28, from 6:30-8 p.m.

Organized as part of the 2014 Wooster Forum on East Asia, the exhibition showcases recent gifts to The College of Wooster Art Museum (CWAM) from Gates, a 1968 Wooster graduate, who gave these materials to the CWAM in honor of Arn Lewis and Beth Irwin Lewis.

"My debt to the College is substantial," said Gates. "In addition to the four years I spent as an undergraduate, I was very privileged to have Arn Lewis as a professor, mentor, colleague, and life-long friend. Wooster also offered me my first job, so my connection is very important, and by giving these gifts, I am able to recognize not only Arn, but also Beth, a cultural historian."

The exhibition consists of more than 35 Chinese and Japanese objects. The Chinese materials include two Han Dynasty (206 BCE–CE 220) cocoon-shaped mortuary vessels, three scholar rocks, and a group of Late Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) Yixing clay teapots. The Japanese materials range in date from the Edo period (1615–1869) to modern day, and include a group of Meiji Restoration period (1868–1912) oribe ceramics, and a selection of baskets used for ikebana.

"There is a variety of objects, both ancient and recent, specifically chosen because of their aesthetic appeal as well as their usefulness in teaching," said Gates. "There is a preponderance of three-dimensional objects, which will be helpful in teaching classes associated with three-dimensional form."

Gates studied art history at Wooster and completed his Senior Independent Study project under the direction of Arn Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Art History. After graduating from Wooster, Gates earned a master's degree in art history from the University of Rochester. He then went on to become a curator and director at a number of major art museums. He held curatorial positions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Saint Louis Art Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (where he was also the assistant director), and the Spencer Museum of Art, and director positions at the Seattle Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Phillips Collection. Gates has taught at a number of institutions throughout his career, most recently at Wooster where he was the Pocock Family Distinguished Visiting Professor.

Running concurrently with the Gates exhibition will be "Selections from PROJECT 35 VOLUMES 1 & 2" in the adjacent Sussel Gallery. PROJECT 35 is an ongoing dialogue between curators and artists in which single-channel videos are selected by 35 international curators, with each curator choosing one contemporary work by an artist they consider important for global audiences to experience today.

The exhibition at Wooster will feature three videos from the project that investigate East Asian identity, history, and performance. The artists are Chen Zhou (China), selected by Philip Tinari (United States/China); Park Chan-Kyong (South Korea), selected by Sun Jung Kim (South Korea); and Yukihiro Taguchi (Japan/Germany), selected by Mami Kataoka (Japan).

PROJECT 35 VOLUMES 1 & 2 are traveling exhibitions produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. ICI exhibitions are made possible, in part, by grants from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Robert Lehman Foundation, the ICI Board of Trustees, and donors to ICI's Access Fund.

CWAM exhibitions, which are free and open to the public, can be viewed Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Additional information is available by phone (330-263-2388) or online.