Since the early 1980s, Frank Oatman and Jon Wood have collected Japanese scrolls. Via a personal connection to a 90+ year old Japanese gentleman of a once noble family, a family who’d collected scrolls for at least five generations, they recently bought 69 fine scrolls painted on paper or silk and beautifully mounted, most in silk brocade. The forty or so scrolls that Jon and Frank are retaining are pledged to the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. All those will be on display, as well as 20+ scrolls from the 17th to 20th centuries that will be available for purchase at very reasonable prices.
“Our elderly Japanese friend and his wife have no children, and nieces and nephews have taken all the scrolls they can use in increasingly small Japanese houses and apartments.” Oatman said. “Our friend has now closed his web site as they’ve sold all the scrolls they care to.” Frank and Jon are still a bit amazed that through this fortunate connection, they’ve been able to acquire such fine scrolls, including ones from as early as the 1500s.
Outside of a few American museums, it’s very difficult to see truly fine Japanese scrolls and almost impossible to find such for sale. The few fine scrolls offered for sale (via Christie’s and Sotheby’s for instance) are at far higher prices than those available at this show.
After Friday’s reception, the show and sale will be open from 10:30 AM to 5 PM Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 & 16. At 10:45 AM on Saturday,
Sept. 15th Frank will speak briefly about the history and cultural significance of scroll painting. And show helper and paper specialist, Janie Farmer, will speak briefly about Japanese paper, including the clay papers used in the mountings of several scrolls on display. Local checks (and cash of course) will be fine for any purchases, but credit cards can’t be accepted for this one-time event.