An Exhibition of Japanese Art in Rome in 1930: The 5th Seminar Held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems

Exterior of Palazzo delle Esposizioni, where the Roman Exhibition was held.
Exhibited Japanese-style paintings at tokonoma set in the gallery.

 An Exhibition of Japanese Art held in Rome, Italy in 1930 (called the “Rome Exhibition”) can be called a “legacy,” as it influenced the following generations, while at present, exhibitions that introduce Japanese art and culture are more commonly held outside of Japan. This Rome Exhibition, held with full financial backing by Baron OKURA Kishichiro, the second president of Okura Zaibatsu (Okura conglomerate), is highly recognized by its size and uniqueness. It exhibited as many as 168 modern Japanese-style paintings, and had 16 tokonoma of various sizes, recessed spaces in Japanese-style reception rooms to show paintings in an original Japanese manner.
 At a seminar on this Rome Exhibition, held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems on September 22, 2023, three researchers made presentations of the outcome of their research, which was conducted under grant by the Pola Art Foundation. Ms. TANAKA Sachiko of the Okura Museum of Art talked about Four Aspects of the Holding the Exhibition of Japanese Art in Rome in 1930, with details about the process of how the decision to hold the Rome Exhibition was made, and the involvement of the Italian contributors. Mr. YOSHII Daimon of the Yokohama History Museum presented Materials Related to the Exhibition of Japanese Art in Rome, owned by Okura Museum of Art, providing an overview of various materials, including minutes and reporting letters, held by the Okura Museum of Art. Mr. SHINOHARA, Satoshi Shinohara, of the Teaching Qualification Center and the Matsumae Commemoration Hall of Tokai University presented Japanese-style Painting Syndrome: Mainly on the works of KABURAGI Kiyokata’s Works discussing how the painters set their strategy to reach outside of Japan based on trend analysis of the painters whose works were exhibited, especially the works of KABURAGI Kiyokata.
 Because of its importance, much previous research has focused on this exhibition. The research presented in this seminar demonstrated great progress in the aspect of the discovery of related materials owned by the Okura Museum of Art. We expect further utilization of these precious materials related to the holding of the Roman Exhibition.

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