Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

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Post  Russell Coker on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:27 am

Hey guys.

On page 4 of the NBF Bulletin (Winter, 2009) is a picture of Jean Smith's wonderful suiseki. Jean was like my second mother to me, and an incredible mentor to me through my teenage years. She passed away last May, and her fine Jaboticaba is now in the American bonsai collection.

I had planned to go to Ft. Walton Beach, FL, to visit my parents and work on a couple of Jean's bonsai this weekend. We are actually predicted to have SNOW of all things tonight and tomorrow (Friday), so I may have to wait until next weekend. I will take lots of pictures of this stone, from all sides as well as the bottom, and post them on the suiseki page along with the story as I know it. The stone is naturally flat on the bottom, and is truly magnificent. Chris, is there anything in particular I should pay attention to?

Russell

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Chris Cochrane on Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:02 am

Hi Russell... Thanks for your very gracious invitation to share information & photos of Jean's stone on IBC. The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum has a brief description.
Origin/provenance: Japan/ Jean Smith bought from Mr. Masaru Yamaki in late 1970s

Description: Black mountain stone with small waterpool, uncut bottom, wood daiza (made by woodworker in New Orleans)

Size: h.7.5” x w.15.5” x d.4.5”

Additional information: Ben Oki negotiated with Yamaki on Jean’s behalf during one of their trips to Japan soon after Mr. Yamaki had given the white pine (no. 2) to the Museum. This stone was published in the 5th World Bonsai Convention Commemorative Album, 2005
Anything that you can share will be very appreciated... Very Happy

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... visit the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington DC USA-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.com

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:34 am

Chris, the first thing that needs to be corrected is that Jean bought this stone while on Ben's 1984 tour. I'm very sure of this for a number of reasons. I think that misinformation came from Ed who mixed up dates. I'll try to get it straightened out from this end.

Russell

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Chris Cochrane on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:20 pm

Hi Russell... I'd love to hear stories of Jean & Ed told from the perspective of an 'adopted son'-- especially any related to the stone. Researching this stone in the year 2050, what might the Museum visitor wish to know that would otherwise be lost?

As you know, Masaru Yamaki donated the Miyajima pine bonsai (collected c. 1625) to the people of the United States in 1975 for our 1976 Bicentennial. For decades afterward, the American bonsai world was largely unaware of the bonsai surviving the atomic blast at Hiroshima. Did Jean Smith & Ben Oki know? The stone Jean obtained from Masaru Yamaki resides near the Hiroshima Survivor bonsai gift thanks to Smith family generosity.

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... visit the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington DC USA-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.com

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:59 pm

Chris,

Back in the early '80's Ben didn't talk about Hiroshima. He talks about it all the time now, and always ties the Yamaki Pine into his story. I'll always remember the day he told his story to Jean and me while we were working together on her bonsai. That was before their '84 trip to Japan, and of course both Ben and Jean were aware of Mr. Yamaki's donation. We never discussed this very interesting aspect of this tree's history, and I think that if either of them had known it we certainly would have - especially with his connection to the stone. I can't imagine Ben or Jean not mentioning it, and it's not the kind of thing I would forget had I been told. I'll double-check this with friends this weekend (or next, weather depending), but I'm running out of people who aren't getting foggy on the dates!

Oh, now and for the immediate future, the stone still resides in Ft. Walton Beach.

Russell

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:15 am

Hey Chris.

Just got back from FWB. We got lots of good pictures of Jean's stone that will be cleaned up and forwarded to me shortly (I hope). As soon as I have them I'll post them to the suiseki forum with Ed's blessings.

Russell

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Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:25 am

Hi Everyone.

I want to share something very special with you.

My friend and second mother, Jean Smith, purchased this amazing stone in 1984 while on one of Ben Oki’s bonsai tours of Japan. Jean was after three things on that trip - satsuki, suiseki, and Tokoname pots. When the tour group arrived to see Mr. Yamaki’s bonsai in Hiroshima Jean spied this stone, but it was not for sale. Mr. Yamaki tried to show Jean some other (lesser) stones, but she kept pointing to “that one”. Finally, with Ben’s help, a deal was struck and the tour progressed with Jean happily carrying her new find. I can remember her telling me that whenever the porters picked up her luggage they’d ask “what you got in here, rocks?”

This beautiful stone is now the latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, thanks to Jean‘s husband Ed. We all have seen beautiful suiseki on display or in books or forums like this one, but we rarely get to see them intimately like this. While I still have access to this stone, friends and I took pictures so you can see this amazing, natural stone “up close and personal”. I’ve also noticed that it is often difficult to judge the size of suiseki from pictures, so my hands are in many of these shots. Here goes…

Front view…


Fingers in the “lake”…


Back view…


From above…


My hand for scale…


Uncut bottom…


Without dai…


Dai…


Me with an old friend…


Hope you enjoy!

Russell

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  mathias on Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:53 am

Thank you Russel, beautiful stone and the daiza is really fantastic !

mathias

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:48 pm

I forgot that this daiza was made by Ed Goldman in Metairia, Louisiana.

Here is a picture of the stone in a suiban with water. Yes, I know it would be better with sand.

Chris, Jean bought this suiban at Tokaname after she bought the stone and displayed it this way before the daiza was made. My thinking is that the suiban should go with the stone when Ed is ready to send it to D.C., and Ed is happy to do that - if you think the suiban is right for this stone. Then again maybe they'd like to have it to display with a different stone. If there were ever a reason to display this stone with the Yamaki Pine the suiban gives the stone more visual weight IMO. What do you think?

Thanks!

Russell



Last edited by Russell Coker on Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : forgot the picture)

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Chris Cochrane on Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:28 pm

Hi Russell... The suiseki & suiban are quite nice. Chosen during a trip where both were obtained by Jean, the suiban has heightened significance when paired with this stone—especially for the Museum with its historical & educational focus.

_________________
... visit the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington DC USA-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.com

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Russell Coker on Thu May 31, 2012 2:54 am



Hey Chris.

I was just thinking about this stone so I thought I'd dredge this up...

Can you tell me how this stone is being used and displayed by the Museum? Is it on permanent display, or is it only seen occasionally? Just curious as to how this works with all of the wonderful stones they have.

R

Russell Coker
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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Guest on Thu May 31, 2012 8:43 am

Hi Russel and Chris

This is a topic, I compleetely missed out....Thanks for showing many photos of this VERY nice stone... and ofcourse the story too.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Chris Cochrane on Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:53 pm

Hi Russell... I wrote the Museum curators in case they had special news of this stone's display. As yet, I've not heard back.

No stone other than outside stones placed on three plinths in honor of Alyce Hirao (Harry's wife) wife are on permanent Museum display-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.org/site/viewing_stones.html. Stones are rotated for display in the glass-faced wall of cabinets identified as Melba Tucker Viewing Stone & Suiseki Display Area, International Pavilion Bldg. Stones from the Collection are also seen in seasonal displays in the indoor atrium area. The last I saw of Jean's stone, it was mounted on its daiza in the Harry Hirao Alcove, which is immediately outside of the Museum curators' office space. That was probably during the NBF Annual Board meeting, which was early last month (May).

I recall this stone there, as well, during the 2011 annual meeting when NBF directors were encouraged to sign the Book of Condolences placed in the Hirao Alcove area. The Book accompanied a check of ~$30,000 for "Tohaku Disaster Relief" delivered to Nippon Bonsai Association Chairman Hiroshi Takeyama.

Hope that helps.

_________________
... visit the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington DC USA-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.com

Chris Cochrane
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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:51 pm



Hi Chris, and thanks! I kinda figured that was going to be what you'd say. With so many beautiful stones how else could they be displayed?

R

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Re: Latest addition to the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

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