Unique 'Degas and the Art of Japan' Exhibition in Final Month at Reading Public Museum

READING, Pa., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The works of Edgar Degas were deeply influenced by Japanese art, yet surprisingly, there has never been an exhibition devoted to this subject...until now. Degas and the Art of Japan at the Reading Public Museum, on display now through Sunday, December 30, 2007, is the first exhibition of its kind to bring together a variety of works by Degas with an illuminating selection of Japanese objects, including a work actually owned by Degas and many images he knew and admired. Displayed side-by-side with the art of the famous Impressionist, these dynamic scenes of Japanese life are revealed as the inspiration for many of Degas' most inventive pictures of dancers, cabaret singers, laundresses and the French countryside.

This unique exhibition of over 60 works, organized by the Reading Public Museum, includes works by Degas borrowed from museums and private collections in the United States, Canada and Europe -- as well as three extraordinary pictures by Degas belonging to the Reading Public Museum's permanent collection. The Degas works are complemented by Japanese objects from major national institutions, as well as from the Museum's own extensive collection.

As the exhibition progresses, Degas' debt to Japanese art comes alive in portraits, pictures of women bathing and combing their hair, scenes of theater-goers and ladies of leisure, and in fans... one decorated by the artist himself. Previously unidentified links between Degas' pictures of laundresses and their Ukiyo-e prototypes are brought to light, as will other little-known aspects of the French artist's sustained engagement with the art of Japan.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated color catalogue written by exhibition curators Jill DeVonyar and Richard Kendall, who also organized the groundbreaking exhibition Degas and the Dance in 2002-3 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

This exhibition is underwritten by the Marlin and Ginger Miller Exhibition Endowment and Sovereign Bank. Additional grants have been made by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Jerlyn Foundation, Yuasa Battery, Inc., and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

The Reading Public Museum is located at 500 Museum Road, Reading, PA. Web: http://www.readingpublicmuseum.org/.


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