A Museum in the Middle of an Orchard
The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture is unique among its peers. It has an unlikely location in the middle of a vast orchard in the small town of Hanford in the Central Valley of California. Which makes it all the more interesting.
The Four Elegant Pastimes by Shibata Zeshin
The Center boasts of a considerable collection of nealy 250 woodblock prints, 500 scroll paintings, folding screens, sculpture, kimonos, baskets and ceramics. Unfortunately only a tiny fraction of these are on display at any given time. When I visited the museum this month, there were no woodblock prints at all on display. There was one beautifully preserved 6 panel folding screen, some baskets and ceramics and two scroll paintings from the collection. The museum is small so it would be impossible to show the full collection. It's best to check first before going so you are aware of what is currently on exhibit. The two-part exhibition, Woven Identities of Japan, will be on display through January 28, 2012. (See article below about this exhibition.)
Across from the museum is a library for browsing and behind this, a small zen garden. There is a private Japanese garden with a pond that is visible through the trees from the pebble path that leads to the bonsai collection area. The third annual Kazari Bonsai Display Competition will be held here at the Center on November 5, 2011.
It's peaceful out in this part of the Valley and if the heat wasn't so intense during this time of year, it would be nice to sit outdoors after viewing the exhibition and enjoy the rows of fruit trees until it's time to head back home in the cool of early evening.
For more information about the Center, follow this link: http://www.ccjac.org/. Admission fee is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for students and the military and free to children under 12.
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Images by Charie