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Art of the Modern Era | Late 19th–first half of 20th century

"Art of the Modern Era | Late 19th–first half of 20th century"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 18  May 11, 2021 (Tue) - August 1, 2021 (Sun)

  
Eagle, By Suzuki Chōkichi, Meiji era, 1892 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago)

Drastic changes in the late 19th century created new challenges for artists. The samurai government that had strictly regulated contact with the outside world collapsed in a civil war. Japan's new leaders announced the start of the Meiji era (1868–1912), engaging with the world and reforming their nation to be more like “the West” (mainly Europe and the United States).

These leaders soon realized that works produced in Japan were not seen as “fine art” in the West. Artisans often mounted paintings on sliding doors and folding screens, but this practice made them look like furniture to Europeans and Americans. Japan's ceramics, lacquerware, metalwork, and textiles were also labeled as “decorative art” rather than “fine art.”

In response, artistic traditions were changed to meet Western standards. Japan's leaders established schools of fine art, organized national exhibitions, and urged artists to participate in world fairs. They intended to show the world that Japan was a “modern” nation with sophisticated arts and culture. The works on display reflect how Japanese artists met these challenges.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 8 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_RECOMMEND Ducks By Kawai Gyokudo (1873–1957) Meiji era, 1897 Gift of Mr. Motoyama Toyomi, A-9970 On exhibit through June 20, 2021
_MD_RECOMMEND Chomon Gorge By Matsubayashi Keigetsu (1876–1963) Shōwa era, 1929 Gift of the artist, A-11149 On exhibit from June 22, 2021
_MD_RECOMMEND Mist (Nude) By Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874–1964) Meiji era, 1907 Gift of the Nihon Club, A-11663
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property Old Monkey By Takamura Kōun (1852–1934) Meiji era, 1893 Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, C-232
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property Eagle By Suzuki Chōkichi (1848–1919) Meiji era, 1892 Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, E-13034
Plaque with a Bugaku Dancer Performing the Genjōraku dance By Unno Shōmin (1844–1915) Meiji era, 1893 Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, E-12757
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property Large Vase with Butterflies and Peonies By Seifū Yohei III (1851–1914) Meiji era, 1892 Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, G-124
Large Flower Vase with the Samurai Minamoto Raikō at Mt. Ōe By Yokoyama Yazaemon (1845–1903) Meiji era, 1872 Gift of the Bureau for the Vienna World Exposition, E-13012
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