Recently I took my mom to see one of the most beautiful art exhibits I've ever seen. It's titled Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism, and its at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco until Jan. 9, 2011.
The whole exhibit is really in three parts, along with an accompanying smaller exhibit of Japanese print books from the museum's collections. The first part of the main gallery looks at the Ukiyo-e themselves and examines the art form from its inception through the late 1800s. Included in this part of the exhibit is all of the series by Katsushika Hokusai, which is most famous for its "The Great Wave off Kanagawa":
For me, it is always exciting to finally view a painting or print that you've seen a million times in books or copied or spoofed a million times in popular culture (in fact, there are several homages to it in the exhibit by other Ukiyo-e artists). The original print did not disappoint; its colors are gorgeous and vibrant, and you are able to stand close enough to it to see all the details: the men in the boats coursing through the wave, Mt. Fuji in the background, the white spray coming off the waves. Several of the other people viewing the exhibit were amazed to see that it contained more than a wave!
|The Japanese influence is easy to see|
in this print by Mary Cassatt
The whole exhibit is well presented and spacious, and the day we went, not very crowded. It is well worth going to!