Mirroring the Life and Culture of the Edo Period, (1615-1868)

Location: Ron and Mary Taylor Gallery

The exhibition was funded in part by the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program.

The first of its kind in the United States, this exhibition presented six traditional categories ofningyo: gosho ningyô (palace dolls), hina ningyô (Girls’ Day dolls), musha ningyô (Boys’ Day dolls), isho ningyô (dolls of fashion and popular culture), karakuri ningyô (theater dolls, some of which are mechanical) and dolls relating to health. Carved from wood, the dolls are clothed in elegant, often elaborate, costumes with heads, hands and bodies that have the appearance of white porcelain. This effect is achieved by applying gofun, a white pigment made from crushed clam and oyster shells and glue to the wooden base.

Related Publications

Ningyo: The Art of the Japanese Doll , from Tuttle Publishing, written by Guest Curator Alan Pate,  with photography by Lynton Gardiner.

Related Events

Alan Pate presented an illustrated lecture on the exhibition following the June 25 Members’ Reception.


On View: Jun 15, 2005 - Jan 08, 2006

Curator: Alan Scott Pate

More Exhibitions


Arline Fisch

One of a Kind

Featuring jewelry, body ornaments and a collection of knitted and crocheted wire hanging flowers and sea creatures by internationally-renowned artist, Arline Fisch.

June 17, 2017 - January 7, 2018


Indonesian Shadow Puppets

An intimate exhibition in the Museum’s Theater Gallery featuring a selection of shadow puppets from Indonesia.

July 19, 2017 - March 18, 2018


Art of the Americas

Pre-Columbian Art from Mingei's Collection

Part of the Getty Center-led initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, this exhibition offers the most comprehensive presentation to date of the Museum’s significant holdings of objects used by people from the ancient cultures of Mexico, Central and South America.

September 16, 2017 - February 18, 2018



Recycled and Embroidered Textiles of Bengal

Featuring approximately 40 kantha (decorative stitched quilting made from recycled sari) from the Museum's permanent collection.

October 28, 2017 - March 25, 2018


Weaving a Path

Navajo Women and the Feminine Ethos

December 9, 2017 - May 20, 2018