Virtual Fall Forum: Modern Japanese Architecture and Design in America

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  • The Japanese Teahouse at Pocantico, situated over a small pond with a stone path in the foreground
    Japanese Teahouse (1961-62) by Junzo Yoshimura, Pocantico Hills, NY
    (Photo by Cynthia Altman)

Held on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

The Pocantico Center’s virtual Fall Forum examines Modern Japanese Architecture and Design in America, highlighting the work of Junzo Yoshimura, George Nakashima, and Noémi & Antonin Raymond.

Panelists William Whitaker, curator and collections manager of the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, Yukie Kamiya, gallery director at Japan Society, and Cynthia Altman, former Kykuit curator and specialist in Asian art, discuss the intersections of Japanese garden design and the Japanese and American craft and architecture movements, as well as their shared experiences of preserving Japanese structures and landscapes at Pocantico, Japan Society's New York headquarters, and Shofuso in Philadelphia.

Kim Andrews, executive director of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia and founding board member and former president of the North American Japanese Garden Association, moderates.

Kim Andrews (Moderator)

Kim AndrewsKim Andrews has been Executive Director of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia since 2010. As Executive Director, Kim administers Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, oversees the annual Philadelphia Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, leads the U.S.-Japan Business & Public Policy series, and directs JASGP’s additional Japanese arts, business, and cultural educational programs. She holds a B.A. in Art History and French from Temple University, an M.A. in Preventive Conservation from Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, and a certificate in nonprofit management from the Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University.

Most recently, she negotiated and executed the merger of JASGP and Shofuso to form a $1+ million budget organization in 2016. She has overseen comprehensive strategic planning and implementation in tandem with new board development and training, and has raised over $2 million for six capital projects and simultaneous ambitious capacity-building. Visitation, giving, staffing, and programming at Shofuso more than tripled under her leadership, with the organization’s annual budget reflecting that growth.

A lifelong Philadelphian who was previously a preservation consultant to over fifty cultural heritage organizations, Kim is a founding board member and former president of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA). She currently serves on the board of the Business Association of West Parkside.

William Whitaker (Panelist)

William Whitaker (photo by Barrett Doherty)William Whitaker is curator of the Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. He is coauthor (with George Marcus) of The Houses of Louis I. Kahn and recipient of the 2014 Literary Award of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Trained as an architect at Penn and the University of New Mexico, Whitaker works most closely with the archival collections of Louis I. Kahn, Lawrence Halprin, and the partnership of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, in support of teaching, scholarship, preservation, and public engagement.

He co-curated over forty exhibitions including Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-71 (Graham Foundation), Anne Tyng: Inhabiting Geometry (Graham Foundation and Penn’s ICA), and, most recently, Design With Nature Now (with the McHarg Center) – a major program of exhibitions, conference, and public programs that highlight the dynamic and visionary approaches to landscape design and development in the face of climate change and global urbanization. He is guest curator for current exhibition, Shofuso and Modernism (with Yuka Yokoyama), for the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia – on view through November 29, 2020.

Yukie Kamiya (Panelist)

Yukie Kamiya Yukie Kamiya is Gallery Director, Japan Society, New York since 2015. Formerly, Kamiya was Chief Curator of Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima MoCA) and Associate Curator of New Museum, New York.

Kamiya has curated numbers of exhibitions internationally and co-curated ProRegress, the 12th Shanghai Biennial, China (2018-19). She also served as guest curator for cultural institutions including the Japan Foundation and Goethe Institute, and curated group exhibitions includeing Discordant Harmony: Critical Reflection of Imagination of Asia (toured to Seoul, Hiroshima, Taipei and Beijing, 2015-2018), Re:Quest Japanese Contemporary Art since the 1970s (Museum of Art, Seoul National University, 2013) and others. In 2011, Kamiya received the Academic Prize from the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo for her curatorial achievement in Simon Starling: Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima).

Her writings have appeared in periodicals and in publications including Hiroshi Sugimoto: Gates of Paradise (Skira/Rizzoli, 2017), Ravaged - Art and Culture in Times of Conflict (Mercatorfonds, 2014), California-Pacific Triennial (Orange County Museum, 2013) and Creamier: Contemporary Art in Culture (Phaidon, 2010). Kamiya has served on selection committees such as for Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé International Program. Studied art history at Waseda University, Tokyo, she was Visiting Professor at the university from 2008-2013.

Cynthia Bronson Altman (Panelist)

Cynthia AltmanCynthia Bronson Altman is an Independent Scholar who, from 1992 to 2018, served as Curator at Kykuit, for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and prior to that for the Rockefeller family. Publications and lectures have delved into the history of the collections, gardens and architecture  She has collaborated on exhibitions on the Rockefeller involvement in Asia, in the National Park System, in the restoration between the wars at Rheims, Fontainebleau and Versailles and on the Asian-inspired gardens at Kykuit and in Maine. Mrs. Altman has contributed to catalogues for the Asia Society, the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Whitechapel Gallery in London. She continues as curatorial advisor for the Rockefeller University. A graduate of Middlebury College, she received an M.A. in art history from Columbia University specializing in Asian art.

Publications include chapters on Kykuit and the Japanese Garden in Rockefeller Family Gardens: An American Legacy, by Larry Lederman, New York, the Monacelli Press, 2017; chapter in Nelson Rockefeller’s Picassos: Tapestries Commissioned for Kykuit, ed. William Keyes Rudolf, San Antonio Museum of Art, 2014; “Picasso’s Guernica and the tapestry it inspired” in Goshka Macuga: The Nature of the Beast, London, The Whitechapel Gallery, c. 2010; “The Japanese Garden at Pocantico,” article in Orientations, May 2006; chapter “A Family’s Love of Asian Art” in A Passion for Asia: The Rockefeller Legacy, NY, The Asia Society, 2006; contributed additional text to Joyce, Henry, Kykuit: The House and Gardens of the Rockefeller Family, second ed. Historic Hudson Valley Press, 2005; historical text and captions in Roberts, Ann Rockefeller, photographs by Mary Louise Pierson, Kykuit: The Rockefeller Family Home, NY, Abbeville, 1998.