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Meiji Modern: Fifty Years of New Japan

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Meiji Modern: Fifty Years of New Japan


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Thursday, August 26
1:00–2:00 p.m. PT
Speaker: Dr. Bradley Bailey, Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Curator of Asian Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


Japan’s Meiji Period (1868-1912) marked a period of drastic transformation to Japanese society, the economy, military, education, gender roles, and much more. At the center of this transformation was Japanese art and craft, which re-imagined traditional Japanese motifs and themes, simultaneously showcasing the country’s storied past and its thoroughly modern present, as the feudal shogunate moved toward constitutional monarchy. The artwork of the Meiji Period, as both artistic and technological achievement, is unrivaled in its intricate detail, technical mastery, precious materials, and inventive adaptation.

This lecture offers a preview of some of the standout objects from the upcoming exhibition, Meiji Modern: Fifty Years of New Japan, in celebration of the Japanese Art Society of America’s 50th anniversary. Co-curators Bradley Bailey (Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Curator of Asian Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and Chelsea Foxwell (Associate Professor, History of Art and Architecture, University of Chicago) have scoured the United States, relying on collections both public and private, to find works of art that present the Meiji Period in a new – and modern – light.

Bradley Bailey is Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Curator and Chair of Asian Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and has held curatorial and teaching positions at Yale, UNC Chapel Hill, and Amherst College. An expert in Japanese art of the Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa Periods, he is most recently the author of “Flash of Light, Fog of War: Japanese Military Prints” (Ackland Art Museum, UNC Chapel Hill). With co-curator Chelsea Foxwell, Associate Professor, University of Chicago, he is currently organizing the touring exhibition Meiji Modern: 50 Years of New Japan, the 50th anniversary exhibition of the Japanese Art Society of America, which will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Yale University Press. Dr. Bailey received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the History of Art from Yale University and holds an MBA in non-profit management from the Yale School of Management.


Please reserve your spot by clicking on this link. All participants will be sent the Zoom link and instructions via email once you secure your place. Space is limited.

Reserve my spot!


Sponsored by the Asian Arts Council.


Featured: Kimono (embroidered peacock and tree design), ca. 1910. Silk embroidered on silk crepe. Gift of Kenneth Brown and John Siglow, 1975.22.



August 26, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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