Picturing Tokyo

By Emily Gold Boutilier

The idea for the Mead’s current special exhibition arose, appropriately, from an undergraduate course. First taught in 2009, “Reinventing Tokyo: The Art, Literature and Politics of Japan’s Modern Capital” was conceived by three professors—Trent Maxey, Samuel Morse and Timothy Van Compernolle—as an interdisciplinary look at how Tokyo has changed over the past century and a half.  

Reinventing Tokyo: Ambitious Exhibition at Amherst’s Mead Art Museum Chronicles Tokyo’s Many Transformations

Submitted on Tuesday, 10/9/2012, at 5:04 PM

October 4, 2012

By Peter Rooney

Tokyo_400
Night in Shinjuku (Shinjuku yakei), from the series Fifteen Scenes of Last Tokyo in Original Woodcut (Tokyo kaiko zue), by Maekawa Senpan (1888–1960), is one of the images featured in the Mead Art Museum's exhibition Reinventing Tokyo: Japan’s Largest City in the Artistic Imagination.

AMHERST, Mass.—Reinventing Tokyo: Japan’s Largest City in the Artistic Imagination, on view through December, is the most ambitious exhibition in the history of Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum. It is the first exhibition in the United States, and perhaps the Western Hemisphere, to artistically examine Tokyo and its various transformations—by fire in the 19th century, the catastrophic earthquake of 1923, the firebombing in World War II and modern industrialization and development—over the past 145 years.