DISCOVERING JAPANESE ART
American Collectors and the Metropolitan Museum. N-Y
February 14–September 27, 2015
The 2015 centennial of the Department of Asian Art offers an ideal opportunity to explore the history of the Museum’s collection of Japanese art. Showcasing more than two hundred masterworks of every medium, this exhibition tells the story of how the Museum built its comprehensive collection of Japanese art beginning in the early 1880s, when it owned just a small, eclectic array of Japanese decorative arts.
Works on view include the world-renowned Great Wave by Hokusai and brilliantly colored screen paintings such as Irises at Yatsuhashi by Ogata Kōrin and Morning Glories by Suzuki Kiitsu. For the first time in over a decade, magnificent sliding-door paintings that once belonged to the Zen temple Ryōanji in Kyoto are on display. Spanning ancient to modern times, the exhibition explores the trends that shaped art collecting and the reception of Japanese art in the United States. Moreover, it sheds light on key American collectors and curators whose passion for Japanese art helped the Museum build its world-class collection.