Japan in Blue and White

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A Spring Scene–Woman Folding Robe, Japan, 19th century, Kikugawa Eizan Woodblock Print On Paper © Pacific Asia Museum Collection. Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Lowrie in memory of Mr. Robert T. Lowrie, 1978
Japan in Blue and White
Curated by: Meher McArthur

46 North Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena , CA 91101
March 25th, 2010 - March 6th, 2011

626-449-2742 ext 10
Wed-Sun 10-6
Japan, japanese, ceramics, textiles and woodblock prints


Japan in Blue and White

March 25, 2010 – March 6, 2011
In the Frank and Toshie Mosher Gallery of Japanese Art

In Japan, the pairing of blue and white has resulted in some of the most dramatic and uniquely Japanese designs. Indigo blue dye has been used to embellish textiles for centuries, while the mineral cobalt oxide has been used since the 17th century as an underglaze pigment on ceramics. In the early 19th century, a third blue pigment, Prussian blue, was imported from Europe and was so popular that it gave rise to a type of woodblock print known as aizuri-e, or "pictures printed in blue." These three blue pigments were originally employed for practical reasons – indigo dye repelled mosquitoes, cobalt oxide is one of the most stable underglaze ceramic pigments, and Prussian blue was colorfast. Mainly drawn from the Museum’s collection, the exhibition will focus on blue and white ceramics, textiles and woodblock prints to illustrate the history of three blue pigments and their development in Japan.

Guest-curated by Meher McArthur

This exhibition was made possible by Setsuko Oka in honor of Grace Oka Latham