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Splendors of Japanese Art

January 31, 2014-December 1, 2014

Location: Nelson-Atkins Building, Gallery 205
Admission is Free.

We are all familiar with the beauty and reliability of modern Japanese design—be it a Nikon camera, a Nintendo Wii or a Honda Accord, but we rarely consider where these ideas came from. The Japanese developed their design style over centuries by adapting artistic ideas from China, but also Korea and other cultures.

This gallery showcases a sampling of Japanese art and design: sculptures, ceramics, lacquer wares, textiles, paintings and prints to show the rich artistic heritage of Japan.

Japanese art and design has influenced artists and designers for centuries and continues today. Japanese prints inspired French artists such as Monet and Gauguin. The helmet of Darth Vader recalls Japanese armor and modern fashion designers such as Issey Miyake reference the elegant robes worn by Japanese geishas and drama performers.


Kaigetsudô Ando, Japanese, 1671-1743; Calligrapher: Sugatani Nankyo, Japanese, d. 1764. A Courtesan. Early 18th century. Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 32-83/5

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