Japan and the Jazz Age

On view until April 20, 2014

Japan and the Jazz Age features a dynamic range of material, enticing visitors to discover this rich period in world history and visual culture. This exhibition recreates the energy and excitement of the Art Deco age in Japan between the two world wars-from the 1920s to 1940s. The artists celebrated in this exhibition transformed the traditional motifs in Japanese art to reflect their more cosmopolitan lifestyle while capturing the rapidly changing and modernizing Japanese culture during the Jazz age, including flappers and music halls.

This beautiful and historically fascinating exhibition tells the story of how the traditional transformed into the modern. With extraordinary skill and creativity, Japanese artists married the urbane decorative styles emerging in Europe with revered forms of the past: geisha became 1920s flappers; ancient origami cranes turned into sleek, gold statuettes; kimono morphed into emblems of fashion chic. Art Deco injected new style into everything from traditional woodblock prints and textiles to sculpture. The contradictions of this epic era in world history of the 1920s and 1930s, and the astonishing innovation that can result from a clash between the old and the new are evident in Japan and the Jazz Age.

The exhibition is drawn from The Levenson Collection-one of the world's premier collections of Japanese art in the Art Deco style-and is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia under the title DECO JAPAN: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945.