Diamond-shaped covered box

Artist: Kawai Kanjiro 河井寛次郎 (1890-1966)
Historical period(s)
Showa era, ca. 1950
Stoneware with chrome, iron and cobalt-tinted glazes
H x W x D: 13 x 18.2 x 16.5 cm (5 1/8 x 7 3/16 x 6 1/2 in)
Japan, Kyoto
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Container


Japan, Showa era (1926 - 1989), stoneware
Provenance research underway.

Although Kawai Kanjiro helped to establish the Japanese Folk Craft Movement in the 1920s, the ideal of the 'unknown craftsman' proved incompatible with his strong individualism. In contrast to the work of Hamada Shoji, Kawai's work shows a sequence of distinct transformations of style, from the Chinese copies of his youth to the abstract expressionism of his last years. This mold-formed box bears a soft blue-gray glaze tinted with cobalt and patterned complexly with chrome and iron glazes, a format that he used during the 1940s.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.