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Watson and the Shark John Singleton Copley
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Watson and the Shark (46.310) — John Singleton Copley

Art in Focus: Mother-of-Pearl Inlaid Lacquer

Through October 13

  • For Everyone
Lacquer wares are made from the sap of the lacquer tree. One of the most beautiful types of lacquer wares is that inlaid with mother-of-pearl. It is believed this technique developed in China. Artisans of Korea, Japan and the Ryukyu Islands also created works decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay, representing their own distinctive cultural styles. Early Korean lacquers, such as the featured table, are noted for their impressive floral designs executed in inlaid wire and tiny pieces of mother-of-pearl.