Japanese Tea Gardens and Tea Houses: From Japan to Frank LLoyd Wright and Today
Saturday, August 25, 2018 | 10:00am
Cranbrook Institute of Science Auditorium
39221 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Registration and Morning Tea and Japanese Sweets 9:30am
Presentations and Demonstration 10:00am
Chanoyu Tea Ceremonies at the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House 12:30pm | 1:30pm | 2:30pm
Lecture by Kevin Adkisson, Collections Fellow, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research
Presentation and Karesansui Demonstration by Japanese Horticulturalist Chisato Takeuchi
Chanoyu Tea Ceremony by the Japan Society of Detroit Women’s Club
Free for the Presentations and Demonstration at Cranbrook Institute of Science
$35 for the Tea Ceremony at the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House
Purchase tickets here for the afternoon Tea Ceremony at the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House. Tickets must be purchased in advance online. Advance ticket sales close Friday, August 24, 2018, at 12:00pm.
PRESENTED BY THE CRANBROOK CENTER FOR COLLECTIONS AND RESEARCH. CHISATO TAKEUCHI’S VISIT AND PRESENTATION IS GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY THE CONSULATE GENERAL OF JAPAN IN DETROIT.
Join the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research as we explore the history of Japanese tea culture, celebrating the ongoing revitalization of the Cranbrook Japanese Garden and the long connection between Frank Lloyd Wright, the Smith family, and Japan. The morning begins with a lecture on Wright and his relationship with Japanese art and design by Collections Fellow Kevin Adkisson, followed by a presentation by the Japanese horticulturalist Chisato Takeuchi titled The Japanese Tea Garden – The First Step to Tea. Following her presentation on Japanese tea gardens, including their design, features, and role in the tea ceremony, Ms. Takeuchi will demonstrate the techniques involved in creating karesansui, a Japanese dry landscape garden.
In the afternoon, three intimate Japanese tea ceremonies will be held at the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House, presented by members of the Japan Society of Detroit Women’s Club. The Japanese tea ceremony, chanoyu (literally “hot water for tea”), is a ritualized, secular practice of hosting and serving guests. The act of preparing and drinking matcha, the powdered green tea, is a choreographed art requiring years of study to master. The centuries-old ceremony is intimate, usually in a quiet setting, surrounded by a garden where one can focus on the functional objects used in the ceremony and the nature around them. For the ceremonies in the Smith House, guests will be seated on the sheltered banquette in the living room with a view of the pond and trees providing a serene, natural background. Following the demonstration, the tea practitioners, in elegant kimono, will prepare and then serve the ceremonial tea and traditional sweets. Narration introducing the ceremony and commentary on the intricacies of its many steps will accompany the presentation.
Frank Lloyd Wright was introduced to Japanese art and architecture in Chicago in the late 19th century through prints and the 1893 World’s Fair, and his early attraction and interest in Japanese design would continue throughout his long career. Wright’s organic architecture took lessons from his observations about Japanese architecture’s relationship to nature. First visiting the country in 1905 and in residence there between 1916 and 1922, Wright built a handful of structures in Japan and amassed a large collection of Japanese art: prints, screens, scrolls, sculptures, textiles, and ceramics. These objects would be woven into the architect’s own Wisconsin home, Taliesin.
Wright’s love of Japan often extended into his clients’ lives, and Melvyn and Sara Smith became interested in Japanese culture after building their small Usonian-style Wright house in 1950. The Smiths hosted many Japanese visitors to the home, and received many small tokens of appreciation in the form of Japanese ceramics and prints. In 1968, Wright’s apprentice and protégé William Wesley Peters designed a small tea house to be constructed alongside the pond behind the house. This unbuilt project will be explored as a part of the morning presentation at Cranbrook Institute of Science.
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS
Chisato Takeuchi is a native of Japan and is based in the town of Kawajima, in Saitama Prefecture. She studied at both the Techno Horticultural Technical College in Japan and Writtle University College in the United Kingdom where she was awarded a National Certificate in Horticulture. The recipient of numerous awards for her gardening skills, Ms. Takeuchi has practiced garden design and management at the Yamagiwa Creating Dreams Garden in Saitama and as the co-owner and chief designer of the Japanese garden design company Ryokuseien in Saitama.
Since the summer of 2016, Kevin Adkisson has served as the Center’s Collections Fellow coordinating preservation, interpretation, and programming across the many buildings and treasures of Cranbrook. A native of north Georgia, Mr. Adkisson has his BA in Architecture from Yale and is completing his MA from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. Mr. Adkisson previously worked for Robert A.M. Stern Architects in New York as a research and writing associate and at Kent Bloomer Studio in New Haven designing and fabricating architectural ornament.
Cranbrook Institute of Science is located at 39221 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Free parking is available in the Institute’s parking deck.
All Tea Ceremony attendees will meet at the West Entrance of the Institute of Science fifteen minutes before their scheduled time in order to board the bus for the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House. Guests may not use personal vehicles to reach Smith House. Guests will be asked to remove their shoes and wear a pair of slippers, which will be provided at the house.
For more information, please contact the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research at 248.645.3307.
PHOTO CREDITS (FROM TOP TO BOTTOM)
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect. Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan. Vintage Postcard, circa 1923 (detail).
Chisato Takeuchi. Photography Courtesy of Chisato Takeuchi.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect. Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan. Vintage Postcard, circa 1923.
Vintage View of the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House (with an unidentified Japanese visitor). Smith House Collection, Cranbrook Archives, Gift of The Towbes Foundation and Anne Smith Towbes; Courtesy of the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Vintage Photograph of Melvyn and Sara Smith in yard of their home, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House. Smith House Collection, Cranbrook Archives, Gift of The Towbes Foundation and Anne Smith Towbes; Courtesy of the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.