View all Events

Art Exhibitions Golden Crane Society Japan Institute

Golden Crane Society Opening Reception for “Masterpieces in Miniature: The Art of Netsuke Sculptures”

Join Portland Japanese Garden in celebrating the opening reception of Masterpieces in Miniature: The Art of Netsuke Sculptures. In the Garden’s final exhibition of 2023, we will showcase remarkable pieces from The Netsuke Collection of James R. Coonan, Denise C. Bates, and Lurline C. Menzies, as well as The Marian P. Miller Collection.

This event is only available to those in our Golden Crane Recognition Society. Please RSVP to Lauren Sadataki by December 8, 2023. You can do so by calling (503) 542-0287, or emailing [email protected].

Reception Details

  • Date: Friday, December 15
  • Time: 5:30 – 8:00pm PST
  • Location: Pavilion Gallery at Portland Japanese Garden
  • Details: Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Japanese Netsuke miniature ivory sculpture depicting a boy with a Daruma.
Boy with a Daruma toy Japanese ivory netsuke early 20th century from The Marian P. Miller Collection. Courtesy of Portland Japanese Garden photo by Chloe Lee.

About the Exhibition

Portland Japanese Garden is thrilled to present a selection from our collection of netsuke in our winter exhibition Masterpieces in Miniature: The Art of Netsuke Sculptures. In the world of netsuke, form and function meet to produce wonder and joy. Small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, these miniature carvings invite one to experience Japanese culture from the nation’s vibrant Edo period (1603–1868). Netsuke (pronounced nets-keh) were personal fashion accessories worn on the sash of a man’s kimono and reflect the ingenuity of their craftspeople, featuring designs filled with spirit, astounding detail, and entertaining style.  

Guest curated by Dr. Peter Doebler, the Kettering Curator of Asian Art at Dayton Art Institute, this exhibition will feature a selection of never-before-seen netsuke as well as works not seen since 2010. Masterpieces in Miniature will draw from our extensive netsuke holdings from The Netsuke Collection of James R. Coonan, Denise C. Bates, and Lurline C. Menzies and The Marian Plumb Miller Collection. The art exhibition, taking place in our Pavilion Gallery, will explore diverse stories that inspired netsuke forms, ranging from gods, heroes, and fantastical creatures to symbolic animals from the natural world. 

Read more about The Netsuke Collection of James R. Coonan, Denise C. Bates, and Lurline C. Menzies.

Japanese Netsuke miniature ivory sculpture depicting five puppies wrestling
Five puppies wrestling Japanese ivory netsuke late 19th century from The Marian P. Miller Collection. Courtesy of Portland Japanese-Garden photo by Chloe Lee.