The Statesman Machida Hisanari, By Takenouchi Kyūichi, Taishō era, 1912 (Gift of Mr. Imaizumi Yusaku)
Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 18
October 4, 2022 (Tue) - December 25, 2022 (Sun)
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.
|Highlight||White Fox||By Shimomura Kanzan (1873–1930)||Taishō era, 1914||A-10516||On exhibit from November 15, 2022|
|Highlight||Dressed Up||By Tsuchida Bakusen (1887–1936)||Shōwa era, 1930||Gift of Ms. Katayama Yoshiko, A-12289||On exhibit from November 15, 2022|
|Highlight||Priest of the Ōbaku School of Zen||By Takamura Shinpu (1876–1955)||Meiji era, 1907||Gift of Mr. Watanabe Gi'ichi, A-10049|
|Highlight||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|
|Highlight||Egyptian Mau||By Un'no Kiyoshi (1884–1956)||Shōwa era, ca. 1935||Private collection|
|Highlight||Gong||By Uozumi Iraku I||Shōwa era, 1947||E-20043|