For centuries, the unique combination of quality, materiality, and craftsmanship that characterizes Asian art was admired around the globe. Beginning in the 16th century, Asian artisans adapted and combined myriad motifs, materials, and techniques to tailor artworks to European and American markets. Now commonly known as Asian export art, these objects acted as catalysts for the global circulation of ideas, materials, and techniques.
In 1996 and 1997, Frank A. Gallagher III ’32 made a gift of Asian export art to the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery. The gift comprises 33 objects, likely acquired from 1946 to 1951 when Mr. Gallagher was based in Tokyo as a civilian economics adviser to General Douglass MacArthur. This exhibition features ten of Gallagher’s gifts – all works of decorative art. These objects and others like them often catered to European and American tastes.
The materials of the works presented in this exhibition range from porcelain and ivory, to bronze and wood. On display are works of Japanese and Chinese export porcelain, as well as miniaturized decorative objects, vessels, and more. The most recent work in the exhibition, a mask by artist Ryō Hō, explores Japan’s performing culture.
This exhibition is the first utilizing the gifts of Frank A. Gallagher III ’32, who was keen on promoting Asia’s cultural heritage at his alma mater.
Curated by Jinze Mi 羋金澤 ‘23
Roger Hankins Intern, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
Academic Year 2021-2022