The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) begins its 2020 Special Exhibition season with tales of heroism and humor, love and loss, and mystery and magic from 19th century Japan–Samurai, Ghosts and Lovers: Yoshitoshi’s Complete 100 Aspects of the Moon, opened this weekend and is on view at the DAI through May 3.
This special exhibition, organized by the DAI, provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all 100 works in Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’sepic series 100 Aspects of the Moon. One of the outstanding series in the history of Japanese woodblock prints, it represents the culmination of the artist’s career.
This series is a tour-de-force, combining diverse, striking designs with dramatic, historical and mythical stories from Japan’s past, including samurai warriors and court ladies. The prints depict Shakespearean emotion–valor and wit, stories of the heart, drama and enchantment–and they are all linked by the presence of the moon. Together they form a concentrated introduction to Japanese culture, including its history, aesthetics, music, literature, performing arts, religions, and festivals.
“There is something for everyone to love with this exhibition,” said Dr. Peter L. Doebler, the DAI’s Kettering Curator of Asian Art and curator for this exhibition. “Yoshitoshi’s 100 Aspects of the Moon shows the full range of the artist’s imagination—from scenes of military prowess and playful animals to quiet contemplation and natural beauty—along with the exquisite work of the engravers and printers he collaborated with. Each artwork has its own fascinating story, so repeat visits to absorb the entire scope of Yoshitoshi’s masterpiece are encouraged!”
“Samurai, Ghosts and Lovers is an exceptional opportunity provided by the DAI’s recent acquisition of a rare, complete album set of100 Aspects of the Moon,” said DAI Director & CEO Michael R. Roediger. “The DAI will be the only venue for this exhibition, so don’t miss the chance to see this entire series displayed together. It is a fitting way to wrap up the museum’s centennial celebrations and begin our next century!”
A selection of works from the DAI’s extensive Japanese collection, as well as loans of swords, helmets and rare Samurai suits, will further enhance the experience of these endlessly fascinating masterpieces of Japanese art.
A suite of related programs will encourage visitors to further connect with the artworks in meaningful ways, including screenings of classic Japanese films, a Japanese print demonstration, a talk about the strange and supernatural in Japanese literature, and a performance of traditional Japanese instruments. Scheduled programs include:
- ARTventures: “Out of this World” Printmaking, February 22, 1–3 pm
- Trivia Night, March 13, 5:30–8 pm
- Film Series: The Ballad of Narayama (Kinoshita, 1958), March 14, 1 pm
- Film Series: Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, 1953), April 18, 1 pm
- Demonstration: Traditional Japanese Woodblock Printmaking w/ Andrea Benedict-Starkey, March 22, 12:30–2:30 pm
- Performance: Traditional Japanese Instruments, April 2, 6 pm
- ARTventures: Japanese Ink Painting and Cherry Blossom Trees, April 11, 1–3 pm
- Language of Art: One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse, April 25, Noon–1 pm
- Talk: “The Supernatural in Japanese Literature and Kaidan, Tales of the Strange,” by Dr. Noriko Tsunoda Reider, Professor of Japanese, Miami University, April 30, 6 pm
Admission to Samurai, Ghosts and Lovers is included in the museum’s general admission: $15 adults; $10 seniors (60+), active military and groups (10 or more); $5 students (18+ w/ID) and youth (ages 7–17); free for children (ages 6 & younger). Admission is also free for museum members. Prices include admission to the Special Exhibition, all Focus Exhibitions and the museum’s collection galleries.
Guided tours of the special exhibition are available. For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Rique Hagen, at 937-223-4278, ext. 332 or [email protected].