Collector’s Choice: Selections from Boise Art Museum’s Collectors Forum

November 28, 2020 - February 7, 2021

Celebrating 30 Years


Collectors Forum became a membership group of the Boise Art Museum in 1990 under the leadership of Dennis O’Leary, then BAM Executive Director, and art collectors Dee Fery and Glenn Janss. Over the past 30 years, Collectors Forum members have made possible the acquisition of 73 significant works of art, focused on Northwest art and artists, for Boise Art Museum’s Permanent Collection.

This is the first time the Museum has displayed an exhibition comprised only of a selection of artworks chosen by Collectors Forum members.  Look for additional Collectors Forum artworks in BAM’s concurrent exhibitions.  We are grateful to Collectors Forum members for their invaluable support in growing Boise Art Museum’s Permanent Collection of significant Northwest and American art.

Organized by the Boise Art Museum

ABOUT | Akio Takamori, Girl in Jumper, Small Boy, Boy with Hands in Pockets

Akio Takamori’s ceramic sculptures explore human relationships. His three-dimensional figures are drawn from both contemporary society and his memories of characters from his childhood village in Japan. Some depict ordinary people going about their day-to-day lives while others evoke archetypal or mythical figures. Whether alone or grouped in dialogue, they are theatrical and deeply emotive. For Takamori, the figures manifest his interest in cumulative memory—the many shifting perspectives that form individual and group identities through the lenses of time, culture, or race—and also reflect his own search for personal and cultural identity.i

Girl in Jumper, Small Boy, Boy with Hands in Pockets are three separate works of art, however, when positioned together they appear to be one artwork. This is by design—Takamori’s figural sculptures, each given a unique identity, are intended to interact with each other and the viewer.

The artist created these figures with coil-building techniques, using his hands and simple tools to build and shape coils of clay, one layer at a time, to produce a hollow form. He painted facial features, hair, clothing and other details onto the surface using multiple layers of colored underglazes to produce a finished result reminiscent of traditional Japanese prints.

Akio Takamori was a seminal figure in ceramic art, whose 30-year career has left an enduring impact on Pacific Northwest arts and the medium itself.

Takamori was born and raised in Japan. He exhibited in the United States, Europe and Asia beginning in the mid 1980s. Takamori received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1976 and his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University in 1978.

Takamori’s work is included in numerous collections including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Los Angels County Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Ariana Museum in Geneva, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including three National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship Grants (1986, 1988, 1992), the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2006), and the USA Ford Fellowship (2011). Takamori was a professor of art at the University of Washington. He lived and worked in Seattle.ii

i “2008 Neddy Artist Fellowship Catalog.” Tacoma Art Museum. (accessed November 24, 2020).

ii “Akio Takamori.” James Harris Gallery.
    (accessed November 24, 2020).

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Akio Takamori, Boy with Hands in Pocket; Girl in Jumper; Small Boy, 1999, stoneware with underglaze, Collection of the Boise Art Museum, Collectors Forum Purchase, 2000.

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