The Legacy of Japan’s Historical Cabinetry



  • Cost: $10 for non-members, $7 for members
  • Advance ticket purchase required
  • Tickets will be held at the door under your name
  •  Time: 7:15pm  (museum doors open at 6:00pm)
  • Please note that the Cornell Café and Gardens will be closed for the evening.

Using historical and contemporary imagery, Mr. Jackson talks about the depth of traditional Japanese cabinetry and its lasting beauty and influence. The evolution of cabinetry from rolling trunks to clothing chests and fascinating step-chests will be considered in the context of social change during the Edo (1603-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) periods. Check out a preview Q&A with the speaker on our blog!


David Jackson is an independent researcher on the topic of tansu, Japan’s unique cabinetry tradition. He co-authored, with Dane Owen, Japanese Cabinetry: The Art and Craft of Tansu. He has curated two exhibitions focused on tansu at the Graham Foundation in Chicago and the Nippon Club in NYC. He was the recipient of a Japan Foundation grant to study the Japanese step-chest. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, he is also a craftsman and sculptor whose history includes an apprenticeship with renowned sculptor, Martin Puryear.

stepped chest