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Asian-Influenced Art is Focus of Juniata College Museum of Art Exhibit

(Posted April 21, 2004)

This print is on of the famous series 100 Views of Edo, by Japanese artist Ando Hiroshige.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The massive ocean ships of the 19th century fascinated people from all walks of life -- including artists. The Juniata College Museum of Art stages a new exhibit, "Of Ports and Pastures: Whistler and Hiroshige" that reveals how one of Japan's most celebrated artists, Ando Hiroshige, and the American expatriate artist James Whistler perceived the bustling harbors of England and Japan.

The exhibit opens April 23 and runs through Sept. 11. There will be an opening night reception at 5 p.m., Friday, April 23 at the Juniata College Museum of Art on the Juniata campus.

The exhibit compares the paintings James Whistler created of the ports of London in the 1870s and 1880s, with the harbor and ocean views of Edo (now Tokyo), Japan created by Ando Hiroshige earlier in the century (1830s and 1840s). The exhibit has further resonance because Whistler was heavily influenced by Japanese and other Asian art, including the prints of Hiroshige.

Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858) was born in Edo as the son of a fireman. His early works were book illustrations, but from about 1830 on, he specialized in landscape prints. He traveled Japan, creating landscapes along various travel routes. His most famous works are the series "Fifty-three Stages of the Toikado"(the Tokaido was a series of highways from Edo to Kyoto) and "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo." These woodblock prints are considered masterpieces today and influenced not only Whistler, but also other artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet.

James Whistler was born in Lowell, Mass. in 1834 but spent much of his life away from the United States. After failing at West Point, he traveled to Paris in 1855 to study art. His first works were etchings done in France and Germany, but he soon switched to painting in 1859, coincidentally the same year he moved to London.

In London he created a series of paintings of the Thames River at night, called "Nocturnes." He also created many different seascapes of London ports during his time there.

All the Whistler and Hiroshige works in the Juniata exhibition are from the college's Worth B. Stottlemyer Collection. The exhibition is curated by David Gliem, assistant professor of art history at Juniata.

The Juniata College Museum of Art is located in historic Carnegie Hall at 17th and Moore streets in Huntingdon. Museum hours until May 1 are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Museum hours starting May 1 are Wednesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. For more information, please call the museum at (814) 641-3505, or visit the Juniata College Web site at http://www.juniata.edu/museum.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.