If you live in San Francisco or travel here for a visit, this is an art exhibition that you will enjoy very much. Asian art is not as commonly appreciated by most Americans, but the Impressionists are more popular. You may be interested to know that in the late 19th Century, a generation of artists and collectors embraced Japanese art, and created the trend called Japonism. Impressionists and post-impressionists including van Gogh, Cassatt, Degas, and Monet were much influenced by the Japanese art and culture.
In this exhibition, there are many paintings that you can pair the art work of the Western artists with the Japanese artists. I usually don’t take pictures in the museum, but this time I was encouraged by the museum’s request: SNAP and SHARE. So, I did my part. I took many pictures without flash and shared with you all. Very often, artists inspire one another, but it is interesting to learn how they were inspired by other cultures without even having visited those countries. We have social media nowadays and technology. But what kind of communication did they have at that time? Art has become the subject, as well as the media in communication. Art has existed since the beginning of civilization. It never stops to inspire, to cultivate, and to appreciate.
I know very little about Japanese Art though I visited Japan many years ago through a work-study program in the university. Ten years ago, I attempted to study Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum, but failed to complete the course due to work. This exhibition has re-ignited my interest in this area. I looked up some information via the internet and bought some books. There are some interesting articles I found. Take a look if you are interested.
Monet’s collection of Japanese prints: what are the historical and cultural factors, and how these two cultures met. If you like, let us study a little and hold a discussion group, just to have fun. Meanwhile, these photos I took told us lots of information. The exhibition is still on till February 7. Don’t miss this opportunity. See you there!
I also found this You Tube video from Asian Art Museum very educational.