23 May – 22 September 2019
When Japan opened up to the world in the mid-nineteenth century, the West looked with amazement at a land replete with natural beauty, but also at a high culture and its refined artefacts. A new fashion phenomenon was born: Japonism.
In this context, the artform of the Japanese cloisonné became all the rage. Craftsmen used a technique of melting coloured glass on a surface between fine strips of copper to produce elaborately embellished vases, plates and bowls targeting an upscale international market. In a combination of eastern and western aesthetics, a novel decorative style thus emerged. The delicate colour gradients, finely worked motifs and painterly surface effects are still as impressive as ever.
In 2016, the Museum Angewandte Kunst received an anonymous gift of some four hundred precious Japanese cloisonné works. After a presentation of a few carefully selected examples the same year, the new exhibition will now feature the entire collection in all its diversity.
The publication of an extensive accompanying catalogue is made possible with the generous support from the Bankhaus Metzler.
Curator: Dr. Stephan von der Schulenburg