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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hours extended for rare Japanese bird-and-flower paintings at the National Gallery of Art

At the opening of the exhibition/Patricia Leslie

For the last weekend of the celebrated Colorful Realm exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, hours will be extended until 8 p.m. to accommodate visitors this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, according to a Gallery statement.

The adjacent shop and Garden Café Italia will also remain open until 8:00 p.m. with last seating at 7:30 p.m.

Almost 6,800 persons have visited the exhibition daily, ranking it in the Top Ten for average daily attendance at the National Gallery, and rivaling the acclaimed 1976 Treasures of Tutenkhamun and exceeding average daily attendance for 1988’s The Art of Paul Gauguin. Tuesday at lunchtime viewers stood sometimes three deep in front of each of the 30 works. 

The large scrolls of bird-and-flower paintings on silk by Itō Jakuchū (1716–1800) are meticulous in detail and technique, images visitors will not forget. They are rarely shown together in Japan, much less another nation presenting, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  The sojourn in Washington marks the first time the works have traveled outside Japan in their entirety over their 250-year history.

Through mid-April 143,000 guests had visited the exhibition which is a special presentation offered to the American people by the Japanese Imperial Household Agency, the Embassy of Japan, and Nikkei, Inc. to honor the centennial celebration of the planting of 3,000 cherry trees in Washington, D.C.

At 2 p.m. Sunday in the East Building Concourse Auditorium, the guest curator, Yukio Lippit, will give a talk about the exhibition and "Juxtaposition, Naturalism, and Ritual" before catalogue signings.

Śākyamuni Triptych, c. first half of the 1760s ink and colors on silk, Jōtenkaku Museum, Shōkokuji Monastery, Kyoto/Patricia Leslie

What:Colorful Realm of Living Beings: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Ito Jakuchu

When: Now through April 29, 2012, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday,  from 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m., Sunday. After 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and after 6 p.m. on Sunday, visitors must enter the Sixth and Constitution Avenue NW entrance of the West Building.

Where: The Ground Level, West Building, National Gallery of Art

Admission: No charge

Metro stations: Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, Navy Memorial-Archives, L'Enfant Plaza, and/or ride the Circulator

For more information: 202-737-4215

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