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An Exhibition in Memory of Peter E.Palmquist

early Japanese photographs -  Japonisme in photography



Gallery Two: Japonisme

The distinctive characteristics of Japanese design influenced the decorative arts and fine arts of the West. Tiffany made elaborate silver services in the Japanese style and European painters like Monet and Van Gogh were inspired by Japan's famous colored wood-block prints. By 1876, the French art critic Philippe Burty came up with a name for it: japonisme.

Gilbert & Sullivan's celebrated comic opera The Mikado, which opened in both London and New York during 1885, intensified the fever for all things Japanese. With more Japanese goods, from fans to kimonos, available in Western shops The Mikado may have been the impetus for a rash of exotic studio portraits in which Americans pose as Japanese. In Japan itself, an item or two of Western clothing-- a bowler hat or an umbrella -- occasionally appears in photographic portraits of this time.

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Unidentified Photographer (U.S.)

Three Little Maids

Tintype, circa 1885

Approximately 3.5 x 2.25 inches

Bertherman Studio (Providence, Rhode Island)

American Girl in Japanese Costume

Gelatine-silver Cabinet Card, circa 1895

Image size 5.5 x 4 inches

Bradley Studio (Ft. Collins, Colorado)

Two Children in Japanese Garb

Gelatine-silver print circa 1895

5.5 x 4 inches

Catharine Weed Barnes (U.S., 1851-1913)

"A Study in Japanese"

Photogravure, 1890

9.5 x 7.5 inches

G. W. Horton (Beaver Dam and Horicon, Wisconsin)

Six Young Men Posing As Japanese Women

Albumen print cabinet card, circa 1886

Bradley & Rulofson (San Francisco)

"Kiralfy Bros. Mikado Ballet"

Albumen print cabinet card, 1886

image size 5-5/8 x 4 inches

Unidentified Photographer (U.S.):

Behind the Fans

Tintype, circa 1885

Approximately 3.5 x 2.25 inches

Japan Photographic Association, Yokohama ( Baron Raimund Von Stillfried and Hermann Andersen)

Japanese Gentleman in Western Garb

tinted albumen print, 1875-8


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