Penguin irises

Another home decor posting, this time with a combination of elements on the coffee table in my living room:


A stuffed penguin, sewn by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky in 1985, as a welcoming gift when Jacques and I first came for a winter quarter at Stanford (renting an apartment on the Stanford campus). It’s faded some over the years; software has allowed me to recover something of the original color, but at the cost of the colors in the other component: a miniature reproduction of a folding screen of Japanese irises (one of a pair) by Ogata Kōrin, which I bought in Tokyo in 1982 (as a present for Ann Daingerfield Zwicky, who loved Japanese irises; I later discovered the reproduction was available from the Metropolitan Museum shop in New York). A better image of the screen:


On the artist, in a nutshell from Wikipedia:

Ogata Kōrin (… 1658 – June 2, 1716) was a Japanese painter of the Rinpa school … he is particularly known for his gold-foil folding screens [including a pair of screens showing Japanese irises].

And on Japanese irises:

The term “Japanese iris” encompasses three species of Irises cultivated in gardens or growing wild in Japan: hanashōbu (Iris ensata), kakitsubata (Iris laevigata) and ayame (Iris sanguinea). Of these three species, I. ensata is the one most commonly referred to as “Japanese iris” outside Japan. (Wikipedia link)

I don’t know a lot about iris species, so I’m not sure which of these three (or Iris sibirica, Siberian iris) appears on the screens.

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