Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia Exhibition

2 Sep - 1 Dec 2020
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Lansdowne Dr. & Horticultural Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19131

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Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. Photo courtesy of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia.

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden presents Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia. The exhibition, organized by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, celebrates the relationships of architect Junzo Yoshimura, Japanese American furniture designer George Nakashima, and European American architects and designers Antonin and Noémi Raymond, whose mutual respect and transcultural exchange of ideas are demonstrated through their collaborative architectural projects.

Shofuso was designed by Yoshimura for a 1954 outdoor exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art and built using 17th-century Japanese materials and techniques. The house now resides permanently in West Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. The house and gardens serve as the physical home of the exhibition, with an additional online component. With a presentation inspired by Noémi Raymond’s interior design and Nakashima’s current studio, objects on display include Antonin Raymond’s drawing of Japanese artisans working at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in the 1920s, a toy chest Nakashima made for his daughter while in an Idaho internment camp in the 1940s, and a series of archival documents from the original exhibition at MoMA.

Educational programs will be offered in partnership with Philadelphia-area organizations as well as those in Japan. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of lectures presented alongside a video documentary.