MUNAKATA SHIKO (1903-1975)
MUNAKATA SHIKO (1903-1975)

Seated Kannon (Avalokitesvara)

MUNAKATA SHIKO (1903-1975)
Seated Kannon (Avalokitesvara)
Inscribed Rasuki kyoju keizon tame, Zentoruisu yunibasute hanga kyoshitsu (For Professor Laskey to keep as a present, Saint Louis Univerisity Printmaking Class), signed Munakata Shiko ga
Ink and color on paper, unframed
26 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (67.3 x 34.3 cm.)
Gifted to Professor Leslie J. Laskey by the artist, 1965
Thence to the current owner by descent

Brought to you by

Takaaki Murakami(村上高明)
Takaaki Murakami(村上高明) Vice President, Specialist and Head of Department | Korean Art

Lot Essay

Professor Leslie Laskey (1921-2021), a renowned woodblock artist and Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, shared a mutual appreciation for the works of Munakata Shiko (1903-1975). In 1965, Professor Laskey invited Munakata, who had already achieved worldwide fame, to teach a semester of design classes. Professor Laskey had been inviting distinguished artists to his class for many years, and Munakata's acceptance was a significant honor.
The three-month class turned into a ten-year friendship. They spent a lot of time together and visited friends in St. Louis. During his stay, Munakata was introduced to Stanley Goodman (1910-1992), and the two bonded over world-class music. Inspired by the music and the large oak tree in Goodman's front lawn, Munakata created Beethoven Chair (Saint Louis Art Museum, 42:2004). Munakata was so fond of the oak tree that he would hug it every time he visited. This may have inspired him to brush Teizen hakujushi (The Oak Tree in the Front Garden; see lot 24), which he gifted to Professor Laskey. Professor Laskey's partner recalled that Munakata once wanted to cut a woodblock into the burled walnut of the windowsill of his Rolls-Royce, much to their horror.
Munakata gifted several of his works to Professor Laskey, and most of them were donated to the Saint Louis Art Museum.

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