DECO JAPAN: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945
July 13, 2012 - October 28, 2012
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art together with Art Services International is pleased to announce the first exhibition held outside Tokyo dedicated to Japanese Art Deco. “DECO JAPAN” not only provides dramatic examples of the spectacular craftsmanship and sophisticated design long associated with Japan, it conveys the complex social and cultural tensions in Japan during the Taishô and early Shôwa epochs (1912-1945). In these pre-war and war eras, artists and patrons created a Japanese modernism that signaled simultaneously the nation’s unique history and its cosmopolitanism. The vitality of the era is further expressed through the theme of the modern girl, known in Japan as the modaan gaaru or moga, for short – the emblem of contemporary urban chic that flowered along with the Art Deco style of the 1920s and 1930s.
Selected by Dr Kendall Brown, the nearly 200 works shown here highlight the Levenson collection -- the world's premier collection of Japanese art in the Deco style. These pieces include spectacular examples of metalwork, ceramics, lacquer, glass, wood furniture, jewelry, textiles, graphic design on paper, painting and woodblock prints; they range from fine art objects made to impress the public at national art exhibitions to goods mass produced for the modern home. The exhibition combines a dynamic range of compelling objects with fresh scholarly perspective to pull viewers into this rich period in world history and visual culture.
Deco Japan Shaping Art and Culture 1920–1945 is drawn from The Levenson Collection and is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. Support has been provided by The Chisholm Foundation. All images courtesy of the Levenson Collection. Support for events in conjunction with this exhibition has been provided by the Toshiba International Foundation. The Museum’s exhibitions and programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues.