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WAM Updates are short, informal posts that put the spotlight on small, but exciting, Museum-related projects, such as the addition of a new painting or sculpture to a gallery. They also serve as updates on staff, new services or programs, and other WAM news.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Recently opened: 'Facing the World: Modernization and Splendor in Meiji Japan'

Just last week we installed a new exciting show in the Arts of Japan gallery, Facing the World: Modernization and Splendor in Meiji Japan. During the Meiji (“enlightened rule”) period (1868 -1912) when power was restored back to the emperor from the samurai class, Japan underwent rapid modernization that established a thriving industrial sector and a powerful national army and navy. Besides dramatic domestic reforms, modernization during the Meiji period also involved presenting the nation on the international stage through the beauty of its arts. With the decline of the samurai class and its strong patronage, many artisans also increasingly turned to creating works for the growing export market. Facing the World features magnificent lacquerware that represented Japan at international expositions in Paris and San Francisco as well as prints reflecting Japan's accelerated growth at home and abroad. The show will be on view until April 16.

See more images and read more about Facing the World

- Vivian Li, Assistant Curator, Asian Art

Above: Cabinet, about 1900, lacquered wood, designed by Kishi Kokei (Japanese, 1840-1922), lacquer decoration by Kawanobe Itcho (Japanese, 1830-1910), Kawanobe Heiemon (1852-1926) and Funabashi Iwajiro (1859-after 1914), Private Collection, E.70.16.3

Accessory Box, 1912-1926, lacquered wood, Japan, Private Collection, E.70.16.1

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