Paris Celebrates “Japonisme”

“Japonisme” © Jean-Tholance, Musée-des-Arts-Décoratifs

“Japonisme” is a word coined in 1872 by French art collector and critic Philippe Burty describing the French craze for all things Japanese. With France’s 1867 Exposition Universelle Parisians saw their first major exhibition of Japanese art inspiring such artists as Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

“Japan-Japonisme. Objets Inspirés 1867-2918” at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD) celebrates 160 years of cultural exchanges between France and Japan. (The treaty of Amity and Commerce between France and Japan was signed in Edo in 1858). The exhibition— drawing on the museum’s vast Japanese decorative arts collection— includes work covering a wide range of styles such as ceramics, ukiyo-e paintings, woodblock prints, origami and manga (until March 03, 2019).

The exhibition opens with Japan at the Paris Universal Exhibition while revisiting the early days of “Japonisme” in France with art collectors such as Henri Cernuschi, Emile Guimet and Hugues Krafft. Today the Guimet and Cernuschi Museums in Paris house major Asian art collections. The MAD exhibition is organized thematically showing both work by Japanese artists and French artists inspired by them… nearly 1,400 works are on view including such artists as Hokusaï , Emile Gallé, René Lalique, Shiro Kuramata, Charlotte Perriand, Uanagi Sori, Ikko Tanaka, Issey Miyake and Junya Watanabe

“Japan-Japonisme. Objets Inspirés 1867-2918” until March 03, 2019 at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris

Other “Japonisme” expos in Paris include: “Meiji, Splendors of Imperial Japan (1868-1912)” to January 14, 2019 at Musée Arts Asiatique, Guimet. “Treasures from Kyoto: 300 years of Rinpa Creation” to January 27, 2019 at Musée Cernuschi. “Jomon, Birth of Art in Prehistoric Japan” to December 8, 2018 at the Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris and “Manga Tokyo” to December 30 2018 at La Villette.