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    Elizabeth Gordon Papers 1958-1987
     
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    Creator: 
    Gordon, Elizabeth 1906-2000
    Title: 
    Elizabeth Gordon Papers 1958-1987
    Phy. Description: 
    4 lin. ft.
    Digital Reference: 
    Image Finding Aid
    Bio / His Notes: 
    Born in Logansport, Indiana in 1906, Elizabeth Gordon served as editor of House Beautiful magazine 1941 to 1964. Ms. Gordon first became interested in Japanese aesthetics during the mid-1950s. As a result she began to read and study Japanese art, history and culture. In 1959, Gordon travelled to Japan with three staff people from, House Beautiful. In Kyoto she met Eiko Yuasa, a young woman then employed by the City of Kyoto to handle foreign V.I.P.s, who was assigned to assist Gordon during her stay there. It was Ms. Yuasa who, in the course of discussions of Japanese aesthetics, introduced the term "shibui." Around that term and its related concepts ("iki", "jimi", "hade") the theme for the issue began to crystallize. In August and September, 1960, House Beautiful, under the editorial control of Ms. Gordon, published two extremely popular issues devoted to the subject of "shibui". Due to the popularity of the issues, museum exhibits devoted to the concept of "shibui" travelled around the United States. Ms. Gordon died in Adamstown, Maryland in 2000.
    Scope and Content: 
    The Elizabeth Gordon Papers measure 4.5 linear feet and span the years 1959-1987. The collection mainly documents Ms. Gordon's research for the August and September 1960 issues of House Beautiful regarding the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui", and the subsequent travelling "shibui exhibition" from 1961-1964. Included are correspondence, some photocopies, 1959-1963; research notes and materials; articles; lectures; printed material including magazine and newspaper clippings, 1959-1987; 2 books, and exhibition announcements; article materials; a photo album containing photos of exhibition installations; and photographs, slides, color transparencies, and lantern slides depicting people, sites, and objects reflecting the "shibui" aesthetic.
    Language Note: 
    In English and Japanese
    Organization: 
    This collection is organized into eight series. 1. Biographical data, 2. Shibui research, 3. Shibui issues of, House Beautiful, 4. Correspondence, 5. Shibui promotion, 6. Exhibition files, 7. Printed materials, and 8. Photographs.
    Provenance: 
    Gift of Elizabeth Gordon, 1988
    Finding aids: 
    Electronic finding aid available
    Cite as: 
    The Elizabeth Gordon Papers. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Gift of Elizabeth Gordon, 1988.
    Restrictions: 
    Access is by appointment only, Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please contact the Archives to make an appointment: AVRreference@si.edu.
    Subject-Topical: 
    Aesthetics, Japanese
    Art, Japanese
    House funishings
    Interior decoration
    Interior decorators
    Interior decoration -- Periodicals
    Gardens -- Japan
    Landscape gardening
    Museum exhibits
    Subject - Geographical: 
    Japan
    USA New York New York
    Subject-Name: 
    Gordon, Elizabeth 1906-2000
    Claiborne, Craig
    Leach, Bernard
    Form / Genre: 
    Correspondence
    Periodicals -- 1940-1970
    Photographs
    Personal papers -- 1950-2000
    Repository Loc: 
    Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560
    Local Number: 
    FSA A1988.03
    Item Information
    RepositoryCall No. 
    Freer/Sackler ArchivesFSA A1988.03Add Copy to MyList

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