• “Japonisme”

    National Museum of Western Art

    Japonisme,” an exhibition concerning the Japanese influence on Western art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is by and large an impressive show. It is exhaustive and exhausting, with an equally comprehensive accompanying catalogue. The initial and most lasting impression is one of overwhelming quantity; there were so many artists and designers working with Japanese motifs during this period, and their work was widely disseminated, both through the printed media and through the mass production of designed goods. What we now call “Japonisme,” as well as those products better labeled “

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