The Matsuda Gonroku’s Maki-e Studio

The studio of Matsuda Gonroku (1896–1986), lacquer artist and the holder of an Important Intangible Cultural Property (a “living national treasure”) from Kanazawa City, has been relocated and reassembled here at the museum. The studio showcases Matsuda’s work from a variety of angles, through screenings of a craft technique video documentary by the Agency for Cultural Affairs titled Makie: The Art of Matsuda Gonroku and displays of tools, materials, and other items Matsuda actually used to produce his lacquerware.

1. Workbench
This is the workbench on which the artist filtered and compounded various types of lacquer. It has an overlapping lid that can be used upside down as a powder tray. The drawers in the body contained sketches and clipped photos that Matsuda used during production.

2. Powder cabinet
This is a small cabinet that contained powder and tools for maki-e. The inside of the upper drawer is black-lacquered so as to be used as a large tray that receives powder during maki-e production. Powder and tools are contained in the lower drawer.

3 Lacquer bath
A lacquer bath is a cabinet in which lacquerware is dried. Since lacquer hardens at a certain temperature and humidity, the condition inside the bath is controlled. When the humidity is low, the inside walls are wetted with water supplied through the holes on the pipes on the ceiling.

4. Subsidiary materials repository
The cabinet contains tools and consumables such as pigments for lacquer coloring, oils and alcohol. The variety of the materials collected here shows the spirit of inquiry of Matsuda who would make every attempt possible in lacquer art.

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