Bonsai and Penjing: Ambassadors of Peace & Beauty


Bonsai and Penjing: Ambassadors of Peace & Beauty Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Tuttle Publishing Pages: 128 Illustrations and other contents: 200 color photographs Language: English ISBN: 9780804847018 Categories: ,

This book tells the remarkable stories of bonsai and penjing trees in the collection of the National Arboretum in Washington D.C. It details their valuable role in international diplomacy and as instruments of American presidential influence. It also describes their inclusion in world’s fair exhibitions, in Asian-inspired gardens around the country, and as a window onto the extensive cultivation of bonsai in North America today. A lengthy first-hand account by Dr. John L. Creech is included about the first extraordinary gift of 53 bonsai from Japan to the U.S. in 1976 which prompted the founding of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. Bonsai & Penjing, Ambassadors of Beauty and Peace describes how Chinese penjing and North American bonsai were later added to the Museum, making its collection the most comprehensive in the world. Stories of individual trees and forest plantings are featured, as are the roles played by the skilled and talented creators of these living art forms-people such as John Naka, Saburo Kato, Yuji Yoshimura, Harry Hirao, and Dr. Yee-Sun Wu. Armchair travelers can experience what a visit to the Museum is like, including the discovery of its remarkable viewing stones. Bonsai & Penjing, Ambassadors of Beauty and Peace will delight anyone intrigued by these living works of art and curious about the stories they bring to life.

Weight0.907 kg


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"The book gives a unique perspective among the bonsai books I've reviewed and encountered over time, in that it's specifically about the national collection in DC. There's fascinating insight into the diplomacy behind bonsai gifting and exchange, and the deep traditional symbolism involved." -boZannical Gardens blog "I think it is fair to say that all of the books I have that have been published by Tuttle are of excellent quality. However, just occasionally one finds one that is so good it 'fair takes one's breath away: this book, I'm delighted to report, is one of those...the illustrations are excellent. That said, although they are some of the best I have seen, they have to take second place to the text u which is superb." -Shakkei, the Journal of the Japanese Garden Society "There is plenty of history for those who are interested. Of course, at the heart of the book are the exquisite photographs of these living masterworks, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the Washington museum that makes them accessible to visitors from around the world." -Retailing Insight magazine "It's a beautifully photographed book...the bonsai pictures are clear, the text is well written...and the story is riveting." -Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog "This book would be a good coffee-table piece, a great addition for anyone interested in bonsai trees or plant history, or a souvenir from the National Arboretum." -Washington Gardener magazine

Author Biography

Ann McClellan is delighted to add Bonsai & Penjing, Ambassadors of Beauty and Peace, From the Collection of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum U.S. National Arboretum Washington, D.C. to her previously published books about the flowering cherry trees of Washington, D.C.: Cherry Blossoms and The Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Celebration. All three books reflect the lifelong love of trees that she developed while growing up in New Jersey on an arboretum-like campus laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted. Her professional career has included executive positions at nonprofit organizations, such as the Smithsonian Institution, World Wildlife Fund, and the American Association of Museums. She treasures the living collections of the National Museum of Bonsai & Penjing as profound expressions of the best that people together with nature can create.