Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Mississippi Museum of Art Opens The Orient Expressed Japan’s Influence on Western Art

The Orient Expressed: Japan’s Influence on Western Art, 1854-1918, will be on display February 19 – July 17, 2011. Visitors to this eleventh exhibition in The Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series will learn about the cultural phenomenon known as Japonisme, through the presentation of more than 200 works of art from the 19th and early 20th centuries. First identified by French art critic Philippe Burty in 1872, Japonisme became a worldwide movement that deeply impacted the visual arts. The resulting influence of these pieces on the visual and decorative arts as well as architecture, music, theater, literature, graphic design, and even fashion was overwhelming and continues to this day.

According to Mississippi Museum of Art Director Betsy Bradley, “The Museum has secured works from some of the most prestigious collections in France, Belgium, and throughout the United States. With the high caliber of The Orient Expressed, we expect to host more visitors than any other exhibition the Museum has had previously.”

Mississippians and other visitors to The Orient Expressed will be inspired by the impact of Japan on the West prior to World War I through paintings, printmaking, decorative arts, graphic design, and more. The Museum is working with guest curator and scholar Gabriel P. Weisberg to put together this insightful exhibition. In addition to the exemplary Western objects that will be showcased in The Orient Expressed, a select group of works from the Japanese art tradition will be incorporated to clarify specific influences. Dan Piersol, the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Deputy Director for Programs, states, “All of these aspects will elucidate the impact of Japonisme, and how it hastened the development of art nouveau and symbolism during the 1890s, and the advent of modernism.”

Works of art will be borrowed from major museums and private collections around the United States and abroad including Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana; Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, Mississippi; and the Mississippi Museum of Art’s own collection. On view will be works by noted artists and manufacturers such as Robert Frederick Blum, Pierre Bonnard, Félix Buhot, Felix Bracquemond, Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Charles Caryl Coleman, James Sidney Ensor, Paul Gauguin, Gorham Manufacturing Company, Childe Hassam, Utagawa Hiroshige, Helen Hyde, Georges Lacombe, John La Farge, Bertha Boynton Lum, Minton and Company, Charles Sprague Pearce, Rookwood Pottery, Henry Somm, James McNeill Whistler, Alfred Stevens, Theodore Wores, Tiffany & Co., and many more.

Two Family Corners and a Closer Look Gallery will offer educational components related to The Orient Expressed, and will include interactive areas, art activities, and reading materials to engage visitors with the works of art on display. These contemplative spaces will be found within the exhibition itself.

A host of special events, educational programs, and other activities with a Japanese influence will also help to enhance the visitor’s experience.

A 192-page, full-color catalogue distributed by University of Washington Press and including essays by Gabriel P. Weisberg, Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Laurinda S. Dixon, Elizabeth K. Mix, Sarah Sik, and Erica L. Warren, will be available for purchase in The Museum Store.

Following its presentation in Jackson, The Orient Expressed will be on view at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas, from October 5, 2011 through January 15, 2012.

Admission Prices – Adults $12, Senior Adults (60+) $10, children 6 – college $6, children 5 and under free, Museum members free. Hours and admission may vary during major exhibitions

Image: Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903), Still Life with Onions, Beetroots and a Japanese Print, 1889. oil on canvas. 16 x 20.5 in. Collection of Judy and Michael Steinhardt, New York, New York.

380 South Lamar Street Jackson, MS 39201
tel. 601-960-1515 fax 601-960-1505

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *