"Rinpa" is a modern term that refers to a distinctive style of Japanese pictorial and applied arts that arose in the early seventeenth century and has continued through modern times. Literally meaning "school of Korin," Rinpa derives its name from Ogata Korin (1658–1716), a celebrated painter from Kyoto. It embraces art marked by a bold, graphic abbreviation of natural motifs, frequent reference to traditional court literature and poetry, the lavish use of expensive mineral and metallic pigments, incorporation of calligraphy into painting compositions, and innovative experimentation with new brush techniques.
The exhibition will feature more than one hundred brilliantly executed works of art created in Japan by the Rinpa-school artists. It will be held in two rotations, the first opening on May 26, 2012; the second on September 12, 2012. Highlighting the school's most prominent proponents, this two-part presentation will trace the development of the Rinpa aesthetic and will demonstrate how its style continued to influence artists throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Comprising more than fifty works from the Museum's own holdings supplemented by forty-five loans from public and private collections on the east coast, the exhibition will include many masters' renowned works in a variety of media—painting, textiles, lacquerware, and ceramics.