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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  August 3, 2021 (Tue) - October 31, 2021 (Sun)

  
Night Scene at the Railway Station, By Takamura Shinpu, Meiji era, 1909 (Gift of the artist)

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 7 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_RECOMMEND The Hall of Dreams By Yasuda Yukihiko (1884–1978) Taishō era, 1912 A-10538 On exhibit through September 20, 2021
_MD_RECOMMEND Christian and a Buddhist By Maeda Seison (1885-1977) Taishō era, 1917 A-10554 On exhibit from September 22, 2021
_MD_RECOMMEND Night Scene at the Railway Station By Takamura Shinpu (1876-1955) Meiji era, 1909 Gift of the artist, A-10048
_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
_MD_RECOMMEND Large Vase with Irises By Miyagawa Kōzan I (1842-1916) Meiji era, 20th century Private collection
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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