Tradition and Triumph
Japanese Women Artists from the John Fong and Colin Johnstone Collection
In pre-1900 Japan few women were encouraged to become professional artists and pursue art seriously. In some situations, male family members who recognized and supported the artistic talent of a female relative could arrange for her to receive further training. And some Buddhist nuns, freed from domestic duties, took up the brush. In a different social realm, courtesans at the highest levels were trained in the arts and attained recognition as poet-calligraphers. After the fall of the shogunate in the 1860s, women had more opportunities to practice art, albeit still limited by tradition.
Tradition and Triumph Andrew L. Maske showcases art created by Japanese women from the 1600s through the 1900s. Ranging from works on silk and paper to ceramics, the art of important women artists is represented along with pieces by male artists who trained and championed them. Assembled by John Fong and Colin Johnstone, who gifted the works to the Denver Art Museum, this collection is believed to be the largest group of works of this type outside of Japan.
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