Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945

Satomi Munetsugu (1904-1996), Poster for Japan, Japanese Government Railways, 1937, color lithograph on paper, 99 x 63.5 cm, Robert and Mary Levenson Collection.

Feb 9, 2013 to Apr 21, 2013

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Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920 - 1945

Deco Japan not only provides dramatic examples of the spectacular craftsmanship and sophisticated design long associated with Japan, it conveys the complex social and cultural tensions in Japan during the Taisho and early Showa epochs (1912-1945).

In these pre-war and war eras, artists and patrons created a Japanese modernism that signaled simultaneously the nation's unique history and its cosmopolitanism.

The vitality of the era is further expressed through the theme of the modern girl, known in Japan as the modaan gaaru or moga, for short- the emblem of contemporary urban chic that flowered along with Art Deco style in the 1920s and 1930s.

Including nearly 200 works from the Levenson Collection-the world's premier private collection of Japanese art in the Deco and modern styles, these pieces include sculpture, ceramics, lacquer, glass, wood furniture, jewelry, textiles, graphic design on paper, painting, and woodblock prints.

They range from fine art objects made to impress the public at national art exhibitions to goods mass produced for the modern home.

The exhibition is drawn from The Levenson Collection and is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia.

Support has been provided by The Chisholm Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

His Excellency, Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States of America is Honorary Patron of the exhibition.

Learn more about Deco Japan programming here.