WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2007)–A new exhibit, “Spirit of Japanese Gardens,” opening at the National Geographic Museum at Explorers Hall on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007, will include a specially created garden designed by master gardener Yotaro Ono, president of the Zen Garden Society of Kyoto, Japan, and more than 50 images of Japanese gardens by National Geographic photographers.
The exhibit, which runs until Sunday, April 29, 2007, celebrates the art and spirit of the Japanese garden. Combining the beauty of natural environments with meticulously maintained and balanced elements, the designs of the featured gardens are rooted in the culture and religion of Japan. From delicate moss gardens to gravel dryscapes raked to evoke wind and water currents, the gardens inspire meditation, creating an intimate connection between people and nature.
Ono’s custom-designed garden, located in the M Street lobby at National Geographic’s Washington headquarters, will change with the seasons during the exhibition. The first design will evoke a warrior’s garden on a cold, moonlit, winter’s night; the second is inspired by the rare spring occurrence when snow falls on cherry blossoms and a full moon is out. The garden will feature water and stone elements, a dryscape river, a pathway and plantings.
The images in the exhibit span nearly a century and include work by such renowned photographers as Eliza Scidmore, probably the first woman to have her photographs published in National Geographic magazine; Sam Abell; Michael Yamashita; Cary Wolinsky; and Bob Krist.
The exhibit will coincide with the 2007 Washington Cherry Blossom Festival from March 31 to April 5, which will celebrate 95 years of cherry blossoms in the nation’s capital.
The National Geographic Museum at Explorers Hall, 1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Dec. 25. Admission is free. For information on the “Spirit of Japanese Gardens” exhibit, the public should call (202) 857-7588 or visit www.nationalgeographic.com/museum.