- Curators to the Ashikaga Shogunate: Sōami and His Circle
- February 20, 2018 - March 18, 2018
Sōami (died 1525) was an artist and tastemaker who served as Magistrate of Chinese Goods to the Ashikaga shogunate. In that capacity, he acted as a sort of personal curator to Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, responsible for the appraisal, acquisition, and exhibition of the paintings and decorative objects in the shogun's Chinese art collection. Sōami was also a gifted painter in his own right, mastering subtle ink gradation techniques learned from the paintings of Muqi—a Chinese Southern Song monk-painter whose work was extremely popular in Japan. Sōami's oeuvre influenced later generations of ink painters, including Kano school artists, Hasegawa Tōhaku (1539–1610), and others. This gallery shows works by of Sōami as well as other artists in his circle, such as Tan'an, Zean, Shian, and Shun'ōsai.