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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  January 25, 2022 (Tue) - April 17, 2022 (Sun)

  
Eagle, By Suzuki Chōkichi, Meiji era, 1892 (Important Cultural Property)

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 9 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Highlight Plum Blossoms and Lotus Flowers By Ōchi Shōkan (1882-1958) Taishō era, 1920 Gift of Mr. Fukami Kichinosuke, A-12113 On exhibit through March 6, 2022
Highlight Stone Buddha of Datong By Maeda Seison (1885-1977) 1938 (Showa 13) Gift of the artist, A-11107 On exhibit from March 8, 2022
Highlight Taking Aim By Soyama Sachihiko (1859–92) Meiji era, 1890 A-1460
Highlight Princess Shakuntala and King Dushyanta By Sato Chōzan (1888–1963) Taishō era, 1916 C-1502
Highlight 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 Monkeys and a Mantis in Relief By Kagawa Katsuhiro (1853–1917) Meiji era, 1892 Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, E-12754
Important Cultural Property Large Vase with a Plum Tree By Miyagawa Kōzan I (1842–1916) Meiji era, 1892 Gift of Japan Delegate Office for World's Columbian Exposition, G-139
Highlight Large Dish, Rough waves, shellfish, autumn foliage, and cherry blossom design in overglaze enamel and gold By Koransha Company; Tsuji Katsuzo Ca. 1877 (Meiji 10) G-296
Large Flower Vases with Scenes of 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