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Only 10 days left to see special exhibits at the Gibbes

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Art lovers have 10 days left to visit The Gibbes Museum of Art’s special exhibitions, Lasting Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Read-Simms Collection and Japonisme in Charleston: Alice Smith and Her Circle. These exhibitions reveal the complexity and importance of Japanese art and how its history collides with Charleston.

Lasting Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Read-Simms Collection, Now – Oct. 3, 2021

Lasting Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Read-Simms Collection showcases 60 exceptional and rare prints amassed by Charleston collector, Motte Alston Read, and his sister, Mary Read Hume Simms of New Orleans, during the first decades of the 20th century, a period often referred to as the “Golden Age” of print collecting. The Read-Simms Collection was donated to the Gibbes in 1947 and reflects the full range of popular print subjects by master Ukiyo-e artists of the Edo period, from dramatic Kabuki theater actors, portrayed by Suzuki Harunobu and Tōshūsai Sharaku in the 18th century, to vibrant landscapes by Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai in the 19th century.

The exhibition is accompanied by a beautiful, fully illustrated catalog featuring entries by Japanese fine art specialist, Sebastian Izzard Ph.D., and an in-depth essay on the collectors by Sara C. Arnold and Stephen G. Hoffius.

Japonisme in Charleston: Alice Smith and Her Circle, Now – Oct. 3, 2021

Japonisme is a French term coined to describe the craze for Japanese art and design that first gripped the West in the late nineteenth century. In a companion exhibition to Lasting Impressions, the wave of enthusiasm for the Japanese aesthetic in Charleston is explored through the works of native artist Alice Ravenel Huger Smith who was one of many American artists to react to the western dissemination of Japanese prints. A close friend and neighbor of collector Motte Alston Read, Smith had unfettered access to Read’s growing library of Japanese prints, and she studied them intently. A watercolor specialist and one of Charleston’s most prolific artists, Smith discovered a shared reverence for nature in the work of Japanese artists, which greatly impacted her artistic trajectory. Japonisme in Charleston: Alice Smith and her Circle features works by Smith and other Charleston artists who embraced the tenets and techniques of Japanese art.

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