Masterpieces of Japanese Art

GBP £35.00



ISBN: 978-1-907804-19-9

208 Pages

279 x 229 mm (9 x 11 in)

153 colour illustrations

In association with the Cincinnati Art Museum

November 2014


The first complete study of a remarkable collection which covers over five centuries of artistic production, the majority dating from the Edo period (1615–1868) to the end of the Meiji period in 1912

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The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Japanese art collection comprises over 3,000 objects, including paintings, screens, prints, ceramics, lacquer and metal wares, ivory carvings, arms and armor, dolls, masks, cloisonné, textiles, and costumes. Started in 1881, it is one of the oldest museum collections of Japanese art in the United States, and except for a few pieces, none of these objects has ever been catalogued or published before.

Masterpieces of Japanese Art is an introduction to this important yet little explored collection through nearly one hundred of its treasures. An essay by curator Hou-mei Sung chronicles the historical significance and the growth of the Museum’s collection in the context of Cincinnati’s local wave of Japanese mania in the nineteenth century and Cincinnati’s early connections and ongoing relationship with Japan and Japanese art. The Museum’s paintings and screens are the focus of two seminal essays by Japanese professors Masahiko Aizawa and Keiko Nakamachi.

Hou-mei Sung is curator of Asian Art, Prints, and Drawings at Cincinnati Art Museum.
Masahiko Aizawa is professor in the Department of Art History at Seijo University, Tokyo.
Keiko Nakamachi is professor in the Department of Aesthetics and Art History at Jissen Women’s University, Tokyo.

Table of Contents

  1. Director’s Foreword
  2. Japanese Art in the Cincinnati Art Museum: A Dialogue between Cincinnati and Japan by Hou-mei Sung
  3. The Synthesis of Japanese and Chinese Elements in a Pair of Fan-Decorated Screens: Wakan Yūgō by  Masahiko Aizawa
  4. Pictorialization of the Tale of Genji: Painting Format and Its Function by Keiko Nakamachi
  5. Catalogue
    1. Paintings
    2. Ceramics
    3. Lacquer
    4. Ivory
    5. Cloisonné
    6. Metal
    7. Arms and Armor
    8. Masks, Dolls, and Costumes
  6. Map
  7. Chronology
  8. List of Artists
  9. Bibliography
  10. Index