Although the exhibition just closed, the Japan Society in New York deserves great praise for its stunning
showcasing of the spectacular craftsmanship and sophisticated design associated with both Japan and Art Deco style.
The exhibition was the first in the U.S. to explore a little-known brand of pre-WWII modernism borne of competitive ingenuity and vivacious cosmopolitanism.
Curated by Dr. Kendall Brown, Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945 subtly conveyed social and cultural tensions in Japan during the Taisho and early Showa periods.
On display were dramatically designed examples of metalwork, ceramics, lacquer, glass, furniture, jewelry, sculpture and evocative ephemera such as sheet music, posters, postcards, prints and photography.
The era’s spirit came across best in the theme of the moga (“modern girl”)–an emblem of contemporary urban chic that flowered briefly, along with the Art Deco style, in the 1920s and ’30s.
Click here for an audio tour of the exhibition.
Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945 is drawn from The Levenson Collection and is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia.