Just Announced: Historic Exhibition of Animals in Japanese Art

More Than 300 Works Include 180 Traveling From Japan

Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, DC, Sept. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At a press conference today, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, announced The Life of Animals in Japanese Art. The first exhibition devoted to the subject, it covers 16 centuries (from the sixth century to the present day) and a wide variety of media—sculpture, painting, lacquerwork, ceramic, metalwork, textile, and the woodblock print. On view from May 5 through July 28, 2019, the exhibition will feature 315 works, drawn from Japanese and American public and private collections. Many of the nearly 180 works traveling from Japan are masterpieces that rarely—if ever—leave that country, including seven designated as an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The artists represented range from Sesson Shūkei, Itō Jakuchū, Soga Shōhaku, Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, to Okamoto Tarō, Kusama Yayoi, Issey Miyake, Nara Yoshitomo, and Murakami Takashi.

This historic exhibition is co-organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Japan Foundation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), with special cooperation from the Tokyo National Museum, and curated by Robert T. Singer, curator and department head, Japanese art, LACMA, and Masatomo Kawai, director, Chiba City Museum of Art, in consultation with a team of esteemed historians of Japanese art. LACMA is presenting an abbreviated version of the exhibition, titled Every Living Thing: Animals in Japanese Art from September 8 through December 8, 2019. The Gallery’s presentation of the exhibition, covering 18,000 square feet in the East Building Concourse, is organized into thematic sections that explore the various roles animals have played in the art of Japan. A fully illustrated catalog is being published in association with Princeton University Press.

For a full press release and images please visit nga.gov/press.


Deer Bearing Symbols of the Kasuga Deities, Nanbokuchō period, 14th century, 
bronze, Hosomi Museum
Kano School, Goshawk Mews, Edo period, c.1675, ink and color on paper; mounted as a six-fold screen, Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas J. Cooper, 1978