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Netsuke: Gucci of the Edo Period

Netsuke depicting a man with movable eyes holding a bag, ca. 18th–19th century, ivory, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel I. Grey, 1988.188

Online Exhibition: Netsuke: Gucci of the Edo Period

About the Project

Curated by students Gawon Lee and Jiayi Hou as the culmination of their 2019–2020 Library Buchanan Fellowship, Netsuke: Gucci of the Edo Period sheds light on a group of approximately forty netsukes, or ornamental toggles worn in pre-modern Japan. These detailed and delicately carved and crafted objects, donated to Vanderbilt more than twenty years ago, will be displayed together for the first time, to highlight their significance in Edo Japan (1603–1868) where they were originally made and worn. Several of these netsuke represent overarching themes and narratives that the students uncovered during their year-long fellowship.

The Fellows

Gawon Lee and Jiayi Hou

The Instructors

Emily Weiner, Interim Curator, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
Kali Mason, Registrar and Collections Manager, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
Yuh-Fen Benda, Librarian for Asian Studies
Professor Gerald Figal, Director of the Asian Studies Program at Vanderbilt University