Once a week I’m down at the Freer-Sackler Galleries, two museums under the Smithsonian umbrella, which operate together as our nation’s Asian art gallery. It also houses some of the best Whistler and Tyron paintings around.
I am usually found in the archives working on whatever project I’m given. Sometimes projects last a day- sometimes months. The last project I completed in a day was simple, but ridiculously fun.
I was asked to look through the “Freer Files.” Shelves of files belonging to Charles L. Freer when he was alive one hundred years ago. I was looking for purchase orders for art (The art now housed in the museum). One seller I kept coming across was Bunkio Matsuki a Japanese buyer who seemed to know exactly what Freer wanted. His invoice headers changed frequently, but usually contained a rabbit. I came across this near the end of my search, sent some time in 1911 from Japan- what an adorable receipt! Would that such art still came on our receipts!
Can I just say- I adore the handwriting they used back then, but I can’t read most of it to save my soul! Can you imagine how long it would take to write a letter pen-and-ink style like this? Crazy!