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Looking East School Program Resources

Carp banners in Kyoto, 1888, by Louis Dumoulin (French, 1860–1924). Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fanny P. Mason Fund in memory of Alice Thevin, 1986.582. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

Carp banners in Kyoto, 1888, by Louis Dumoulin (French, 1860–1924). Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fanny P. Mason Fund in memory of Alice Thevin, 1986.582. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

Suido Bridge and Surugadai, 1857, from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, by Utagawa Hiroshige I (Japanese, 1797–1858). Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 11.36876.34. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

Suido Bridge and Surugadai, 1857, from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, by Utagawa Hiroshige I (Japanese, 1797–1858). Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 11.36876.34. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

The water lily pond, 1900, by Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926). Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Given in memory of Governor Alvan T. Fuller by the Fuller Foundation, 61.959. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

The water lily pond, 1900, by Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926). Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Given in memory of Governor Alvan T. Fuller by the Fuller Foundation, 61.959. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

Bamboo Yards, Kyobashi Bridge, 1857, from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, by Utagawa Hiroshige I (Japanese, 1797–1858). Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 11.26350. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

Bamboo Yards, Kyobashi Bridge, 1857, from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, by Utagawa Hiroshige I (Japanese, 1797–1858). Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 11.26350. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

Hodogaya on the Tokaido, approx. 1830–1831, from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, by Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760–1849). Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 11.17541. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

Hodogaya on the Tokaido, approx. 1830–1831, from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, by Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760–1849). Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 11.17541. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

The jockey, 1899, by Henri de Toulouse‑Lautrec (French, 1864–1901). Lithograph; color on paper. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fund in memory of Horatio Greenough Curtis, 24.1704. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

The jockey, 1899, by Henri de Toulouse‑Lautrec (French, 1864–1901). Lithograph; color on paper. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fund in memory of Horatio Greenough Curtis, 24.1704. Photograph © 2015, MFA, Boston.

Objective: 

Explore the arts of Japan that inspired new creative directions for Monet, Van Gogh, and others in the United States and Europe. Use these resources to prepare your students for the Looking East school program at the Asian Art Museum (Looking East: How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh, and Other Western Artists is on view October 30, 2015-Feburary 7, 2016).

During the Looking East School Program students will:

  1. Trace how modernization and new global exchange inthe 19th century, including World’s Fairs, created the opportuinity for artists and collectors to come into contact with the arts of Japan and other cultures
  2. Recognize and describe how European an American artists integrated design principles they observed in Japanese prints into their own works of art,
  3. Compare and contrast different ways that artists were inspired by Japanese arts and culture and how this inspiration informed new directions in their own work.

Before your visit:

  1. Watch the video “Looking East: Techniques and Inspiration” with your class to introduce how artists borrowed elements of Japanese art and integrated them into their work.
  2. Review elements of art and principles of design.      
  3. Ask your students to think about some of the following questions:
  • Artists often look at works of art by different artists to give them new ideas. What do you when you are looking for inspiration?
  • European and American artists borrowed images and techniques from Japanese art, blending them with their own training and ideas to create something new. Can you think of any examples of artists or people you’ve heard of doing this today? Do you think it is okay to wear or represent a culture that is not your own? Support your position with examples.

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