The Kokeshi Dolls of Bob Brokop
June 4 – September 15, 2013
Wood Be Kindred Spirits features one of the largest and never before seen collections of kokeshi in the United States. The whimsical and kindhearted faces of kokeshi bring joy and comfort to all those who come into contact with them.
Miyashita Hajime (b. 1940, Maebashi City)
By virtue of its title and plump hands and feet, Yamaji evokes the woody terrain of the birthplace of kokeshi, and the hardworking lumberjacks and wood lathe craftsmen of the Tohoku region.
Likened more to a wood carving, the exposed hands and feet make this lathe-turned doll rare among kokeshi. Hajime’s dolls have won numerous prizes since 1965. Several of his dolls were purchased by the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan in 1969.
Artist: Sekiguchi Tōa (b. 1942)
The inscription on the bottom states that the artist of this doll was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize in 2008. Note the foot peering out from her kimono!
Tōa, the son of Sansaku, whose dolls also are included in this exhibition, began making creative kokeshi in 1971. Since then he has received several awards for his dolls, including the Minister of International Trade and Industry Prize in 1979. Today, Tōa and his wife operate their own kokeshi studio, where they continue to create award winning dolls.
Artist: Miyakawa Yūichi (b. 1964)
There are several dolls in this exhibit portrayed with their hair blowing in the wind. This imaginatively distinct kokeshi genre underscores the abstract shape that distinguishes sōsaku kokeshi from traditional kokeshi