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UAL Research Online

1910 Japan-British exhibition and the art of Britain and Japan

Watanabe, Toshio (2013) 1910 Japan-British exhibition and the art of Britain and Japan. In: Commerce and Culture at the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition: Centenary Perspectives. Global Oriental, Leiden & Boston, pp. 123-133. ISBN 978-90-04-22916-7

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Watanabe, Toshio

This paper gives firstly a short overview of the position of Japanese fine art within the history of international exhibitions from the middle of the nineteenth century up to 1910, when the Japan-British Exhibition took place in London. Secondly, it examines the Fine Art Palace in particular where both British and Japanese art was exhibited. Finally, the relationship between British and Japanese fine art at that time is examined.

Japanese artefacts were already exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition, but not under its own banner, which finally happened in 1862, when the British diplomat Rutherford Alcock organised a Japanese section. This, though modest in its scope and quality, was hailed by many British artists and designers as a revelation and could be regarded as one of the trigger points of the subsequent Victorian Japonisme. Though Japanese craft was consistently successful at these international exhibitions, its fine art fared less well. Nevertheless, at the 1900 Exposition Universelle at Paris the Japanese showed the first comprehensive exhibition of Japanese fine art where the emphasis was on its historical overview.

Compared to this, the Fine Art Palace of the 1910 exhibition exhibited Japanese contemporary fine art for the first time in equal terms with that of the British. The exhibition space was more or less equally divided and though a substantial amount of older art was included, the main emphasis was on contemporary art of both countries. This article provides for the first time an analysis of the British section as well, which was more or less ignored in scholarly debates. It also examines how far the exhibits represent the contemporary art scene of each country and finally points out how a number of these works showed direct artistic relationships between the two nations.

Official Website: http://www.brill.com/commerce-and-culture-1910-japan-british-exhibition-centenary-perspectives
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Japanese modern art, Japanese exhibitions, British modern art
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Global Oriental
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Research Centres/Networks > Transnational Art Identity and Nation (TrAIN)
Date: 2013
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2013 16:17
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 04:46
Item ID: 5897
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/5897

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