USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Pasadena, California 91101
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USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Focus on the Subject: The Art of the Harari Collection

April 5, 2013 through March 30, 2014
DarumaFrank and Toshie Mosher Gallery of Japanese Art

Press Release [PDF: 87KB]
Image Bank [PDF: 156KB]

The renowned Harari Collection of Japanese Edo (1603–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) era paintings and drawings is one of the most significant groups of works on paper at USC Pacific Asia Museum. Amassed in London during the 1950s and 60s by Ralph Harari, the collection includes ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world”); important prints, paintings and sketches by Hokusai, Hiroshige and their schools; paintings by Kano, Tosa, Nanga, and Shijo schools; and decorative paintings including fans. In the 1980s, USC Pacific Asia Museum acquired the majority of this collection with the support of several generous donors. Objects from the collection have previously been included in the exhibitions 40 Years of Building the Pacific Asia Museum Collection in 2011 and Reflections of Beauty: Women from Japan’s Floating World in 2006, among others.

Focus on the Subject: The Art of the Harari Collection features selected works from this group, and elucidates how Japanese painters and artisans shared their appreciation for certain subjects including landscapes, physical beauty and pursuits like poetry and tea ceremonies. These recurring themes found in the paintings are echoed in other media from USC Pacific Asia Museum collection including ceramics, textiles, lacquerware and sculpture. By looking at a few of the finest examples of Harari Collection paintings alongside objects featuring similar subjects, visitors will have an opportunity to appreciate these themes from multiple perspectives, thereby deepening their knowledge of Japanese art and culture. In addition, the exhibition will examine the role of the collector both in private and public realms.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Los Angles County Arts Commission.

Image: Ogawa Ritsuo, Daruma Carrying a Courtesan Across a Stream, Japan, c. 1740, Ink, color, gofun on paper, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Calvin Frazier, USC Pacific Asia Museum Collection, 1986.67.2