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Abstract

The primary purpose of world’s fairs was commercial and industrial, focused on the celebration of technical and material progress. At the same time, they were places of immaterial exchanges between exhibitors and visitors, all of whom contributed a diversity of customs and cultures. As major exhibitions developed in Europe (1850–1900), Japan was opening to Western influences after a centuries-old period of self-isolation. The advent of the Meiji era marked the decision to transform feudal Japan into a modern capitalist state; in order to find economic partners, Japan became a regular presence at the world’s fairs. Openness gave way to confluence: European visitors discovered a living, rich image of Japan, complete with its traditions and arts. The revelation, to a wider audience, of Japanese art was at the origin of an artistic movement – Japonisme – which would have a lasting influence on European artists. Japan’s regular contributions to world’s fairs, especially those in Paris (1867, 1878, 1889, and 1900), enjoyed great popular success and shaped the European understanding of, and taste for, Japanese arts and culture.

In: Journal of Japonisme
Author: Ricard Bru

Abstract

Josep Mansana Dordan, a well-known Catalan late-nineteenth-century businessman, founded what is considered the finest collection of Japanese art established in Catalonia and in Spain at the turn of the century. In the early twentieth century, the Mansana Collection, as it was known, enjoyed popularity and prestige in Barcelona thanks to its constant expansion driven by the founder’s son, Josep Mansana Terrés, also an entrepreneur. The collection was well known at the time, but fell into oblivion after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. It was not until 2013 that, on the occasion of the exhibition Japonisme. La fascinació per l’art japonès, the collection began to be rediscovered and studied. This article aims to present a first complete overview of the history and characteristics of the old Mansana Collection and its impact on Barcelona at and immediately after the turn of the twentieth century.

In: Journal of Japonisme

Abstract

The present study defines the connection between Japonisme and the Greek diplomat and donor-collector Gregorios Manos (1851–1928). Manos collected Japanese pieces during the reign of Japonisme in Europe, was a pioneer of the study of Japanese art in Greece, and the first donor of Chinese and Japanese artifacts to the Greek State in 1919. The donation resulted in the foundation, in 1926, of the Sino-Japanese Museum (renamed in Museum of Asian Art in 1973) in Corfu. The present research is based on primary and secondary sources and seeks to present unpublished data as well as re-examine Manos’ connection to Japonisme. In addition, this micro-perspective research aims to reveal Manos’ studies, diplomatic carrier, collecting practices, and donating vision. At the same time, it hopes to enrich macro-perspective study by outlining the circumstances under which collectors founded museums of Asian art in peripheral places, such as Greece, during the first half of the twentieth century under and beyond the allure of Japonisme.

In: Journal of Japonisme
A Topography of Public Bronze Statuary in Modern Japan
Author: Sven Saaler
In his pioneering study, Men in Metal, Sven Saaler examines Japanese public statuary as a central site of historical memory from its beginnings in the Meiji period through the twenty-first century. Saaler shows how the elites of the modern Japanese nation-state went about constructing an iconography of national heroes to serve their agenda of instilling national (and nationalist) thinking into the masses. Based on a wide range of hitherto untapped primary sources, Saaler combines data-driven quantitative analysis and in-depth case studies to identify the categories and historical figures that dominated public space. Men in Metal also explores the agents behind this visualized form of the politics of memory and introduces historiographical controversies surrounding statue-building in modern Japan.
In: Men in Metal
In: Men in Metal
In: Men in Metal
In: Men in Metal