Art Talk: Setting the Fans Afloat

February 17, 2021

Exhibition designer Elie Glyn and production specialist Sean Lunsford explain the creative process behind the planning and installation of a display of framed fans by Suzuki Kiitsu, featured in the special exhibition Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection.

The design was inspired by ogi nagashi, a Japanese tradition in which women would gather at a bridge at summer’s end, toss their fans over the side, and watch them undulating in the stream. In an effort to replicate the essence of this effect, the installation team used specialized techniques to install the fans at different depths on the wall.

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection—the largest exhibition ever presented at the Harvard Art Museums—offers a window onto the supremely rich visual culture of Japan’s early modern era. Take a virtual tour on Google Arts & Culture and visit our Painting Edo page to discover more ways to explore this special exhibition. 

Led by:
Elie Glyn, Assistant Director for Exhibitions, Collections Management

Sean Lunsford, Exhibition Production Specialist, Collections Management

Works explored:
Suzuki Kiitsu, A group of eight fans depicting flowers of the seasons, Japanese, Edo period, early to mid-19th century. Fan; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper. Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, TL42096.12.1–8.

Suzuki Kiitsu, Fans of the Twelve Months, Japanese, Edo period, 1844–58. Fan; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper. Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, TL42096.9.