The Greenwich Historical Society’s exquisite current exhibition, An Eye to the East: The Inspiration of Japan, looks at the influence of Japanese art and culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with a special emphasis on the Cos Cob art colony. The contribution of Genjiro Yeto, who studied under John Henry Twachtman at the Art Students League in New York and spent part of each year from 1895 to 1901 at the Holley House, is explored; this gallery features a recent and important donation of his work to the Historical Society by his granddaughter Yukiko Tanaka. Here are photos of some items you will see including paintings, prints, photographs, carvings, ceramics and textiles.
In 1854 a treaty opened trade between the United States and Japan, a nation that had been closed until that point. Within a year, French artist Félix Bracquemond “discovered” the woodblock prints of Hokusai and circulated them among his Paris art circle. Their influence was immediate, and visiting Cos Cob artists John Henry Twachtman, J. Alden Weir and Childe Hassam all took note. Within a few years, a fascination with Japanese art and culture began to sweep Europe and, following the Civil War, the phenomenon took America by storm as well.
To find out more about the exhibition from the curator herself, Karen Frederick, listen to her podcast, originally broadcast on WGCH.
An Eye to the East: The Inspiration of Japan will run through February 26, 2017 at the Storehouse Gallery, Greenwich Historical Society, 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807. Exhibition hours are from noon to 4:00 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors; admission is always free to members and children under 18 and free to all on the first Wednesday of each month.
“The Curator’s Eye” tours are offered on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 12:15 pm. These informal, 20- to 30-minute docent-led gallery tours focus on exhibition highlights, themes and background stories that provide a framework for better understanding the art and objects on display.