Japanese Art

I turned in my third paper today. It was easier to write; the reading was more straightforward so I didn’t have to do so much work avoidance. This one was really about revising Japanese art history. I know there have been many revisions and reevaluations in western art history, usually because one influential critic writes something everyone else is unwilling to challenge. I recently read a book about Eakins that charged his personal reputation and the interpretation of his art was all based on one monograph published in the 1930s that was so influential it paralyzed any further thinking about him. The Japanese art history revision was more complex, based on a number of important exhibitions in Japan and here in the US. Western artists from Whistler and the Impressionists until today have been influenced by Japanese art. It is equally interesting to learn how the Japanese art world has been influenced by western exhibitions and, most important, western art collectors.

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