Featured Topic: Houses & Gardens

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The Japanese Garden
Bowdoin College
An excellent resource about Japanese gardens. Currently featuring 29 gardens (primarily "the historical gardens of Kyoto and its environs, including Nara"), the website was "designed simply to provide the visitor with an opportunity to visit each garden, to move through or around it, to experience it through the medium of high-quality color images, and to learn something of its history." With additional information about the origins and key elements of the Japanese garden, this is a truly outstanding resource on the topic of Japanese gardens. Also with a bibliography, glossary, and list of web links.

Go to Museum Resource: http://learn.bowdoin.edu/japanesegardens/index.html
 
Gardens
University of Washington, Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization
"This unit explores the private Chinese garden, the elegant paradises created by the well-to-do, especially in the Southeast. The unit includes a walk-through tour of one of the older surviving gardens of Suzhou, the Garden of the Master of Nets." A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization was prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey. With questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings. Select HOME to find link to teachers' guides for all topics featured on the website.

Go to Museum Resource: http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/home/3garintr.htm
 
Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese Home
Peabody Essex Museum
"Yin Yu Tang, a late Qing dynasty merchants' house, was originally located in southeastern China. Re-erected at the Peabody Essex Museum, Yin Yu Tang is now open to visitors." This companion website to the permanent installation at the museum allows visitors to explore "this rare example of the region's renowned architecture and to learn about the daily life of the Huang family, who lived in Yin Yu Tang for over 200 years." With in-depth text, images, and diagrams organized around the topics Orientation, Construction, Ornamentation, Belongings, and Preservation.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.pem.org/sites/yinyutang/
 
Homes (of China's Late Imperial Period): House Architecture and Interiors
University of Washington, Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization
"This unit looks at the homes people built as a way to learn more about the material circumstances of their lives and how geography affected daily life. After looking at how houses were built, it considers what was inside them." A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization was prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey. With questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings. Select HOME to find link to teachers' guides for all topics featured on the website.

Go to Museum Resource: http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/home/3homintr.htm
 
Scholar's Library and Study
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
With introductory overview and images (including a 360-degree panorama view) of this permanent architectural installation at the MIA of a Qing dynasty scholar's study and attached rock garden. The IN THIS ROOM section has information about and images of furniture and decorative objects in the room; the CURATOR INTERVIEW section examines aspects of the room in greater detail. There is also a link to another installation -- a reception hall dating to the early 17th century -- also with an image gallery, object descriptions, panorama view, and curator interview.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/architecture/chinese-scholars-study.cfm
 
Nature Within Walls: The Chinese Garden Court at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
An illustrated 28-page teacher's guide that can be downloaded in .pdf format. The guide "provides background material about gardens and nature in Chinese culture ... Also included are suggestions for topics of discussion and relevant activities for use in the classroom. This material is meant to draw students’ attention to some of the key features of the garden and to help them understand how these details can embody fundamental cultural concepts. A glossary and a list of bibliographic and other resources provide handy references."

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/learn/for-educators/publications-for-educators/nature-...
 
Chinese Gardens and Collectors' Rocks
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A brief discussion of the significance of the garden in Chinese culture. With 10 related artworks and a video clip of the Chinese Garden Court at the Metropolitan Museum.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cgrk/hd_cgrk.htm
 
The World of Scholars' Rocks: Gardens, Studios, and Paintings
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Online presentation of a 2000 exhibition that "features more than 30 scholars' rocks from the noted collection of the Richard Rosenblum family, ranging in size from desktop pieces to freestanding works of several feet in height. They are accompanied by about 90 paintings dating from the 11th to 20th century, drawn primarily from the Museum's collection." With images of 9 related rocks and paintings.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={26B7F4B8-AE17-11D3-...
 
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden
Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden
Take an online tour of this Vancouver garden. Also read more about the garden's history, design, construction, and symbolism under "About" at top.

Go to Museum Resource: http://vancouverchinesegarden.com/visiting/virtualtour.htm
 
The Margaret Grigg Nanjing Friendship Garden
Missouri Botanical Garden
An excellent online tour of the Missouri Botanical Garden's Chinese garden. Scroll to the bottom of this Introduction page to see links to four more pages about Chinese gardens in general (An Ancient Tradition; A Frame and Focus; Mountains and Water; Plants as Symbols) plus four pages about specific aspects of this Chinese garden (The Moon Gate; Tai Hu Stones; The Pavilion; The Lotus Gate). With photographs throughout.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.mobot.org/hort/tours/cgtourintro.shtml
 
The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
With a brief overview of the history of the NY Chinese Scholar's Garden, as well as general information about design, technique, and basic elements.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.snug-harbor.org/chinese.html
 
Asian Collections Virtual Tour
The United States National Arboretum
"The Asian Collections, located at the east end of the Arboretum, feature a variety of plants native to eastern Asia, including rare and unusual trees, shrubs and herbs with origins primarily in the countries of China, Korea and Japan." A 24-slide presentation to introduce the visitor to the Arboretum's Asian Collections. Scroll toward the bottom of any slide show page to find "Learn more about the Asian Collections" -- a one-page historical guide to the collections.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/collections/VirtualTours/asian.html
 
National Bonsai and Penjing Museum
The United States National Arboretum
"The miniature masterpieces that we call bonsai and penjing are the pinnacle of gardening skill, and the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum has one of the largest collections of these timeless trees in North America. The Japanese art of bonsai, and its precursor, the Chinese art of penjing, are rooted in the traditions of Asian culture. The placement of branches, styling, and the pot all convey deep symbolism and reverence for nature." One-page historical background about the museum. Select BONSAI VIRTUAL TOUR for a 38-slide presentation that guides the visitor through the museum.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/collections/bonsai.html
 
Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Gardens & Collections
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Select the Cherry Esplanade (3), Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden (10), and Bonsai Museum (20) from the dropdown menu on the right for photographs, descriptions, and additional links. Also see the FLOWERING CHERRIES section (under Discover >> Our Plants).

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.bbg.org/discover/gardens/
 
East of Eden: Gardens in Asian Art
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Online presentation of a 2007 exhibition on gardens in Asian art. Featuring paintings from Qing-dynasty China, Edo Japan, Mughal India, and Safavid Iran.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/Gardens/launch.htm
 
Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego: Online Tour
Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego
"The [San Diego] Japanese Friendship Garden is named 'San-Kei-En' meaning 'three scene garden' -- Water, Pastoral and Mountain. San-Kei-En is an expression of the ties between the people of San Diego and Yokohama and blends the two cultures to create a unique experience. The Garden was named in honor of the San-Kei-En Garden in Yokohama." A brief tour of the garden and the sukiya style Exhibit House, with photographs throughout.

Go to Museum Resource: http://niwa.org/tour
 
The Japanese Garden: Seiwa-en
Missouri Botanical Garden
An excellent online tour of the Missouri Botanical Garden's Japanese garden. Scroll to the bottom of this Introduction page to see 25 additional pages introducing each aspect of the garden, from the Entrance (#1) and Blue Boulder Cascade (#2) to the Kasuga Lantern (#24) and Stone Boat Basin (#25). With photographs throughout.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.mobot.org/hort/gardens/japanese/intro/index.shtml
 
Japanese Tea Garden: History and View
San Francisco Parks Trust
A very brief history of San Francisco's Japanese Tea Garden, with a list of fun facts and a link to a 360-degree view of the garden.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.sfpt.org/Default.aspx?tabid=236
 
The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens: Garden Guide
The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
An introduction to the Japanese gardens at the Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Florida -- "a series of six diverse gardens, each inspired by a different historical period and type of Japanese garden." Download the GARDEN GUIDE (.pdf) at the top of the page or select from the menu at the top left for more in-depth information about the gardens, a statement from the gardens' designer, and a Bonsai exhibit (with photographs). Also see the EDUCATION section for information about the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Go to Museum Resource: http://morikami.org/index.php?src=gendocs&link=Gardens&category=Gardens
 
Nitobe Memorial Garden
University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
Garden honoring the memory of Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933), "agriculturalist, scholar, Quaker, philosopher, statesman, educator ... [who] devoted much of his life to promoting trust and understanding between the United States and Japan.] See the FOR THE SCHOLAR section for information about Inazo Nitobe, the tea house of the Nitobe Garden, the symbolism of lanterns like the ones seen at the Nitobe garden, and more.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.nitobe.org/
 
Portland Japanese Garden: Guide to the Gardens
Portland Japanese Garden
Guide to the five distinct garden styles represented at the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon: 1) Flat Garden; 2) Strolling Pond Garden; 3) Tea Garden; 4) Natural Garden; 5) Sand and Stone Garden. Brief text and a small photograph under each style section, plus a general history of the gardens (under BACKGROUND). Also see the ARTICLES section for texts about Japanese culture.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.japanesegarden.com/gardens/
 
Shofuso, Japanese House and Garden: Historical Narrative
Shofuso, Japanese House and Garden
An in-depth history of Shofuso, a traditional Shoin-zukuri Japanese house in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. See Chapter 9 for description of the Shoin style. Also see the PHOTO GALLERY and VIRTUAL TOUR sections for photographs of the house and gardens.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.shofuso.com/?page_id=235
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