September 8, 2004
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.- The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will feature "East Asian Art: Recent Acquisitions and Loans," an exhibition of highlights from its permanent collection, from Sept. 7 through December 19. Samuel C. Morse, a professor of fine arts and Asian languages and civilization at Amherst, will give a gallery talk on "Contemporary Japanese Art at the Mead: Yokoo, Morimura and Shibata" on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 12 noon.
More than 40 Japanese woodblock prints, known as ukiyo-e, recent major gifts of William Green and Howard Hamilton to the permanent collection, are a highlight of the show. These superb prints in vivid color are rare and many have never been publicly displayed. Theatrical subjects, including prints depicting kabuki actors in major roles by Hiroshige, Toyokuni, Shunsho and other noted artists, are a key theme. The epic tale Chushingura (The Storehouse of Loyalty) is illustrated in a series of woodblock prints by Sadahide, accompanied by additional prints by Toyokuni and Hiroshige. Contemporary works of Japanese art on view, such as five posters by Tadanori Yokoo and a fan with photographic self-portrait by Yasumasa Morimura, show the witty appropriation and transformation of Western art and celebrities to comment on gender and popular culture. The exhibition also features ceramics with selections from the Mead's collection of Japanese folk pottery and a long-term loan of Korean celadon ware.
Despite ongoing construction on campus, the Mead Art Museum is open. The temporary entrance is located next to Stirn Auditorium, and the museum remains wheelchair accessible; please call ahead for details. The Mead is open regular hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. More information is available on the museum's Website at www.amherst.edu/~mead or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.