Shōwa Japan and modern European art

Louise Franklin, Bristol School of Art,

The impact of Japanese art and design on European artists from the late nineteenth century onwards has been well documented in the English-language art historical literature. The activities of European dealers of Japanese art and Japanese art dealers operating in Europe have also received critical attention. Likewise, the ways in which ‘Japan’ was conceptualised for European (and North American) museum-going audiences after the Second World War have been interrogated. However, while the influence of North American culture on post-war Japan has been charted, albeit with less focus on Fine Art than other areas of the visual arts, the same cannot be said for English-language accounts of the impact of modern European art on the Japanese art world.

This panel seeks to begin to address this historiographical imbalance – in the spirit of Chakrabarty’s (2000) call to ‘provincialise Europe’ – by inviting contributions that consider the impact of modern European art, specifically that produced in the first half of the twentieth century, on the Japanese art world during that country’s Shōwa period (1926–1989).

Information about the speakers and papers on this panel will be posted shortly.



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