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Special Ruskin Art Club tour of the historic Gamble House, a Greene & Greene California Arts and Crafts masterpiece, in Pasadena

  • The Gamble House 4 Westmoreland Place Pasadena, CA 91103 (map)

In addition to the docent-led tour of the house, Gamble House curator Jennifer Trotoux will give a special presentation on the new Gamble House exhibition, "Shiguchi: The Hidden Art of Japanese Joinery." A wine and cheese reception will follow on the terrace.

5:00 pm - Lecture

5:30 pm - Tour

6:30 pm - Reception

“Shiguchi: The Hidden Art of Japanese Joinery” reinterprets the connecting elements of historic Japanese timber-frame construction as a compelling expression of contemporary art. Originally crafted by anonymous builders for traditional Japanese farm houses, shiguchi joinery, by its nature, remained hidden from view for hundreds of years while it locked into place the massive structural timbers of humble farm dwellings. A new exhibit organized by The Gamble House brings the work of architect, historian and preservationist Yoshihiro Takishita to Pasadena to showcase the intricate craft of the ancient joiner’s art, known as shiguchi.

Since the 1970s, Yoshihiro Takishita has successfully rescued dozens of Japanese farm houses, or minka, from the threat of development, particularly in mountainous Gifu Prefecture. By carefully disassembling the houses, timber by timber, and reassembling them in new locations, Takishita gave many of these historic houses a second life. Not all of the constituent parts could be re-purposed in the new locations, however, and, not wanting to discard any remnant examples of shiguchi, Mr. Takishita carefully stored the “orphans” of timber construction. He soon realized that these objects could stand on their own, literally and figuratively, as individual works of art. Over time, Mr. Takishita rescued enough of these structural fragments that he came to curate a coherent collection of remarkable aesthetic value.

For the first time in the United States, these antiques of traditional joinery will be exhibited throughout The Gamble House, itself a masterwork of architectural wood craft. This exhibition has been organized by The Gamble House, with co-curators Yoshihiro Takishita, Ted Bosley, James N. Gamble Director of the Gamble House, and Jennifer Trotoux, Curator of the Gamble House.

Jennifer Trotoux is Curator at The Gamble House. Prior to her current position Ms. Trotoux was an associate with Architectural Resources Group, where she worked as an architectural historian and historic preservation planner from 2006-2017. A native Pasadenan, she was educated in art and architectural history at Scripps College and the University of Chicago and later taught architectural history at Woodbury University.