Painting Edo: a virtual tour of the Harvard Art Museums

May 20, 7 pm, Zoom. Registration link below.

Please join fellow alumni on May 20 at 7:00 pm, via Zoom, for a presentation by Dr. Rachel Saunders, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Curator of Asian Art at the Harvard Art Museums. While the Museums remain physically closed owing to the pandemic, Dr. Saunders, who received her Ph.D. from Harvard in 2015, will speak with us about the exhibition she co-curated there, Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, which opened in February 2020. Dr. Saunders is a specialist in medieval narrative and sacred painting, and is responsible for the museums’ Japanese collections. She previously worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and held fellowships at the University of Tokyo and the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, DC. Following her talk, there will be time for Q&A.


Painting Edo, the largest exhibition ever presented at the Harvard Art Museums, offers a window onto the supremely rich visual culture of Japan’s early modern era. Selected from the collection of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, the more than 120 works in the exhibition illustrate a seminal moment in the history of Japan, as the country settled into an era of peace under the warrior government of the shoguns and opened its doors to greater engagement with the outside world. The dizzying array of artistic lineages and studios active during the Edo period (1615–1868) fueled an immense expansion of Japanese pictorial culture that reverberated not only at home, but also in the history of painting in the West. The exhibition explores how the period, and the city, articulated itself by showcasing paintings in all the major formats—including hanging scrolls, folding screens, sliding doors, fan paintings, and woodbl ock-printed books—from virtually every stylistic lineage of the era, to tell a comprehensive story of Edo painting on its own terms.


Please register HERE.


There is no cost for this event. Follow and complete the checkout process to receive the Zoom link instructions.

Image Credits: Maruyama Ōkyo, Peacock and Peonies, 1768, Edo Period, Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk, 135 x 70.6 cm (53 1/8 x 27 13/16 in.), Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, TL42147.17, Photography by John Tsantes and Neil Greentree, © Robert Feinberg