While politically tumultuous, the 16th and 17th centuries in Japan were also marked by vibrancy and innovation in the visual and literary arts. A chance landing by a few Portuguese sailors on the southern coast of Japan in 1543 fostered the nation’s participation in the burgeoning global trade of textiles, porcelains, lacquers, and other luxuries. This focused exhibition includes important loans alongside works from the Gallery’s collection and explores the critical role that imported goods played in Japanese culture during this momentous period. In addition to spectacular screens showing the arrival of foreign ships and their crews, the exhibition also features Japanese lacquers produced for domestic use and export, Chinese ceramics made for the Japanese market, and Persian and Indian trade textiles, some of which were refashioned into Japanese clothing.
Views of the Exhibition
Exhibition organized by Denise Patry Leidy, the Ruth and Bruce Dayton Curator of Asian Art. Made possible by the Japan Foundation Endowment of the Council on East Asian Studies and the Art Gallery Exhibition and Publication Fund.