100 YEARS: The imagination of Robert Crowder, Vralati, and Shoji Kuroda
The three faces of an artist that lived for a century
A special exhibition to mark Robert Crowder's centenary
November 13, 2011 - January 8, 2012
9:30 am—6:00 pm (Monday—Saturday. Sunday by appointment)
1960s folding screens which typify Crowder's work
Crowder (1921-2010) was an American-born painter who learned the technique of Nihonga while living in pre-war Japan. He took the artist name of Shoji Kuroda after having studied under the master painter Mochizuki Shunko (1893-1979). With the outbreak of World War II, Crowder was interned as an enemy alien and subsequently deported from Japan in 1943.
His profound affection for the country, however, remained intact, and to this day he shows not a trace of bitterness or regret. He would have stayed forever, he says, had it not been for the circumstances. As it was, he returned to the United States, and the beautiful things that had captivated him in Asia — ikebana flower arrangement and painted byobu, as well as fabrics purchased from the mountain “aborigines” on his visits to Taiwan from Japan — formed the basis for establishing a studio of handpainted murals and folding screens used in decorating the Hollywood homes of the rich and famous. - April, 2007 issue Cultural News