Metropolitan Museum of Art Opens Storytelling in Japanese Art Exhibition

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presents Storytelling in Japanese Art an exhibition on view November 19, 2011–May 6, 2012.

Kaihō Yūchiku (1654-1728), The Tale of Drunken Demon (Shuten Dōji Emaki), Edo period (1615-1868), late 17th century. Scroll II from a set of three handscrolls, ink, color, and gold on paper, 12 3/4 x 797 in. (32.4 x 2024.4 cm) Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

Japan has a long and rich history of pairing narrative texts with elaborate illustrations—a tradition that continues to this day with manga and other popular forms of animation. Featuring more than sixty works of art in a range of mediums and formats, this exhibition invites you to explore myriad subjects that have preoccupied the Japanese imagination for centuries—Buddhist and Shinto miracle tales; the romantic adventures of legendary heroes and their feats at times of war; animals and fantastical creatures that cavort within the human realm; and the ghoulish antics of ghosts and monsters.

From illustrated books and folding screens to textiles and even playing cards, the objects on view, which date from the twelfth to the nineteenth century, vividly capture the life and spirit of their time. Central to our exploration of this subject is the illustrated handscroll, or emaki, a narrative format that is essential not only to the dissemination of Japanese tales but also to the very ways in which they are crafted. The more than twenty handscrolls on view in the galleries demonstrate the many ways in which the pictorial space of the emaki is designed to draw viewers directly into a story, offering a rare opportunity for visitors of all ages to experience the pleasures and intellectual challenges inherent in Japanese narrative painting.

The exhibition is made possible by The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Japan Foundation.

Related Events:
Exhibition Tour—Storytelling in Japanese Art
December 02, 2011 Free with Museum admission
Exhibition Tour—Storytelling in Japanese Art
January 14, 2012 Free with Museum admission
Exhibition Tour—Storytelling in Japanese Art
February 09, 2012 Free with Museum admission

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