Katsumata Chieko, Japanese, born 1950 Akoda (Pumpkin-shaped) Water Jar, 2015 Matte-glazed stoneware 7 x 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 in. © Katsumata Chieko

Mizusashi: Japanese Water Jars from the Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz Collection

December 23, 2017 - May 13, 2018
Galleries 238 & 239
Free Exhibition

A mizusashi is a utensil used in the Japanese tea ceremony, a tradition with medieval origins that is still widely practiced today. In a tea gathering, a host prepares bowls of tea by whisking together powdered green tea and hot water drawn from a kettle. The mizusashi, typically an earthenware or stoneware jar, holds the water used to replenish the kettle and rinse the bowls. The first utensil to enter the room and the last to leave, the mizusashi is a locational and aesthetic anchor for the gathering and can take a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and appearances. This selection of 20th- and 21st-century mizusashi highlights two important trends—the perpetuation of longstanding tea traditions alongside the artistry and technical excellence that define modern Japanese ceramics. This exhibition is complemented by a selection of Japanese tea utensils from the turn of the 17th century, on view in Gallery 224.