Tulsa doctor's Asian art collection now on display

Thursday, December 15th 2005, 10:24 am
By: News On 6

Doctor JL Richardson loved Asian art. He loved it so much he built up an enormous collection of pieces. Dr Richardson died last year, but his collection lives on at the Richardson Asian Art Museum.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells visited the museum to have a look.

Margaret and Tama VanHorn stopped in at the Richardson Asian Art Museum at 4770 South Harvard, because they were curious. They had seen the sign and the unusual entrance and wondered what was inside. Margaret VanHorn: "I sure like the free spirit of that child." It is one of the dolls of Japan a special exhibit at the museum from the Japan Foundation in Tokyo, designed to give visitors a small window into Japanese culture. It came here from Atlanta and it’s on its way to Egypt after this weekend.

Special exhibits like this one will periodically show up at the museum but most all of this is from the personal collection of Dr J L Richardson. "He was a man who fell in love with Asian art, and he collected it for people in Tulsa to see." Richard Hammer is the curator of the museum. He says it was always Dr Richardson's wish that the public get a chance to enjoy these things and this museum is the result.

He is particularly pleased when students come in. "We often have students come in and draw pictures or take photographs, and use it to jump-start their own imaginations.”

There are so many things to see, carved jade, malachite and Chinese cloisonné. Margaret VanHorn: "detail's what strikes me about everything here, the inlays, and the detail." A jade clock for example or an inlaid cabinet with its built-in aquarium. Fish never had it so good.

Only about a third of the collection is on display, new pieces will rotate in periodically. A chance to see some wonderful Asian art without having to get a passport.

If you'd like more information on hours and special programs available for kids, check out their website at www.richardsonart.org.