Ningyo: The Art of the Japanese Doll features over 250 unique photographs as well as extensive commentary and background history.
Japanese dolls (ningyo) have played an important role in Japanese art and culture since its earliest stages of development, as talismanic figures, centerpieces, in elaborate festivals, medical study tools, theater distractions, decorative objects, and avidly collected art forms, as well as childhood playthings. Ningyo: The Art of the Japanese Doll is the most comprehensive book on antique Japanese dolls and figurines published in English. The book focuses on the many types of Japanese dolls:
gosho: palace dolls
hina: Girl's Day dolls
musha: warrior dolls for the Boy's Day Festival
isho: fashion dolls
The principal forms of the dolls and their history, stylistic development, cultural context, and economic imperatives are discussed against the backdrop of Edo-period society and popular culture. Beautifully detailed color photographs of ningyo drawn from private collections, many of which are published here for the first time, as well as images of related materials selected from celebrated museums and temple collections, such as folding screens, woodblock prints, sculpture, painting ceramics, and textiles, help place the dolls in context. Ningyo: The Art of the Japanese Doll is a fascinating book for anyone interested in Asian doll art and doll collecting.
About the Author: Alan Pate was born in Florida and studied in France, Korea and the US. He has an MA in East Asian Studies from Harvard University. He is the owner of the Japanese antique firm Akanezumiya in St Ignatius, Montana, specializing in the religious and figural art of Japan from the Edo period and earlier. He is the leading expert on Japanese dolls in the US, where he has curated exhibitions and lectured extensively. He has also published widely in journals focusing on Japanese antiques. He has been appointed Guest Curator for an exhibition on important US collections of Japanese dolls to be held at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, CA, in 2005.
Photographer, Lynton Gardiner is a professional photographer based in New York, specializing in museum work. He has photographed for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is the principal photographer for catalogs published by the Mingei International Museum. His photographs have appeared in several art books.