Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection
The show ‘Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection’ (14 February–26 July 2020) is the largest special exhibition ever to be mounted at the recently renovated Harvard Art Museums. Presented in the year of the Tokyo Olympics, it offers a window onto the supremely rich visual culture of Japan’s early modern era. The more than 120 works are drawn from the magnificent collection built up by Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg over almost fifty years and promised to the Harvard Art Museums in 2013 in an act of extraordinary generosity (Fig. 1). The exhibition connects visitors with a seminal moment in the history of Japan as the archipelago settled into a new era of peace under the warrior government of the shoguns and opened its doors to greater engagement with the outside world. The array of artistic lineages and studios active during the Edo period (1603–1868) fuelled an immense expansion of Japanese pictorial culture, which reverberated not only at home, but subsequently in creative disruptions of the history of painting in the West.