Elements of Balance by Sogetsu Pittsburgh

Fallingwater Institute Artists-in-Residence Sogetsu Pittsburgh, an ikebana collective, presents modernist ikebana arrangements throughout and influenced by the historic Fallingwater house and surrounding landscape.

A black and white illustrated advertisement for a display of Ikebana flower arrangements at Kaufmann's department store. The ad from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette features a drawing of an Ikebana flower arrangement with the word "ikebana" descending vertically through the arrangement. Text describing the event appears in the lower right.Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s relationship with Japanese aesthetics was clear by the time he designed Fallingwater for Pittsburgh’s Kaufmann family in 1935, with influences felt throughout his design, including Wright’s choice of siting in direct correlation with nature.

In this inaugural collaboration between Sogetsu Pittsburgh and Fallingwater, the group explores Wright’s masterwork and the interdisciplinary possibilities of ikebana where craft, art, architecture, nature and composition harmonize. Sogetsu Pittsburgh also celebrates the important legacy of ikebana and Sogetsu in the region by including historic vessels into the installation on loan from The Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, from the collection of Kay M. McKenna, Greensburg-based ikebana artist and founder of Ikebana International Pittsburgh Chapter established in 1959 as the 25th chapter in the United States. During a time when interest in the art form was growing rapidly around the world, Kaufmann’s department store hosted an exhibition by the Ikebana International Pittsburgh Chapter in 1969.

Arrangements by Sogetsu Pittsburgh Click images to enlarge.

Sogetsu Pittsburgh is a collective study group founded in 1990 by Reiko Nakajima and Joan Walter. Along with studying the Sogetsu ikebana curriculum through workshops, the group introduces the practice to the public and community through collaborations with various organizations, venues and artists. Past exhibitions have included projects with Carnegie Museum of Art, Phipps Conservatory, the Andy Warhol Museum, Contemporary Craft, the Cleveland Botanic Garden and more.

An installation tour and Sogetsu demonstration and workshop will be offered to the public on September 13, 2023. Participants of any skill level are welcome to discover yet another way to engage with Fallingwater.

About the Artist

Sogetsu Pittsburgh

Sogetsu Pittsburgh is a collective of ikebana practitioners and artists based in Pittsburgh who have exhibited their work at the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Society of Contemporary Craft, and Phipps Conservatory. The group is dedicated to studying and sharing the modern art of Sogetsu ikebana and is a 2023 Fallingwater Institute Artist-in-Residence. The group was founded in 1990 by Reiko Nakajima and Joan Walter and continues to be led by Nakajima and Atsumi Sewell as principal instructors.  They are active participants in Ikebana International Pittsburgh Chapter #25, founded in 1959 by Kay McKenna of Greensburg.