Looking East
Western Artists and the Allure of Japan

Helen Burnham with contributions by Sarah E. Thompson and Jane E. Braun
Format Regular Price Member Price
Hardcover $29.95 $26.95

128 pages. 86 color illustrations, 8.5 x 10 in, ISBN: 978-0-87846-810-2

A craze for all things Japanese beginning in the late nineteenth century brought a radical shift in Western art that came to be known as japonisme. The art and culture of Japan inspired leading artists, including Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, to create works of renewed vision and singular beauty. Looking East explores this phenomenon through a selection of major paintings, prints, drawings, and decorative arts from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, presenting masterpieces by European and American artists alongside rare works of art in the Museum’s renowned Japanese collection. With essays that illuminate both Western and Eastern perspectives and explore shared themes, this lavishly illustrated publication invites readers to experience the sense of discovery and excitement created by an extraordinary moment of cross-cultural exchange.

About the Author

Helen Burnham Pamela and Peter Voss Curator of Prints and Drawings Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Jane E. Braun Research Associate in Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Sarah E. Thompson Assistant Curator for Japanese Prints in Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Editorial Reviews

"The phenomenon, known as japonisme, had a profound effect on artistic movements of the era....Looking East celebrates this extraordinary artistic conversation, including examples from the worlds of fashion and craft as well as fine art." 

-The Telegraph

"In addition to small discoveries, Looking East gives us an excellent synthesis of recent Japonisme studies, which should please art lovers and the wider public by its original selection of works." 

-Print Quarterly