"Art and Liberation in Post-surrender Japan: How Women Shaped a Democratic Art" (Canceled)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM (ET)
VCAM VCAM 201 Media Production/Object Study Classroom
Event Type
Susan Penn
Distinguished Visitors Program

Alicia Volk, associate professor of Japanese art in the department of art history and archaeology, University of Maryland, College Park

For Japanese artists, Japan’s defeat in the Second World War represented an opportunity for radical reform of the institutions and practices of art and for rethinking the role of art and artist in the public sphere. Calls for change and revolution were couched in terms of “democratization.” Women were some of the earliest and most obvious beneficiaries of the Allied Occupation of Japan’s democratization policies. How did artists who were women seek to capture the potential of social and political change for women in particular and society in general at this transformative moment in Japanese history? Focusing on Akamatsu Toshiko and Migishi Setsuko, two of early postwar Japan’s most successful female painters, this talk reveals how women across the spectrums of artistic practice and political conviction sought to capture the potential of women’s liberation and of democratic art.

Alicia Volk is an Associate Professor of Japanese Art in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Volk is an award-winning scholar of Japanese modern art whose publications cover a range of mediums and critical issues, including the relationship of Japanese art to the arts of Europe, the United States and Asia. Her book In Pursuit of Universalism: Yorozu Tetsugorō and Japanese Modern Art (2010) places early twentieth-century Japanese painting in the framework of global modernism. Her Distinguished Visitor lecture derives from Democratizing Japanese Art, 1945-1960, a book in progress that examines the rebuilding of the art world in the context of Japan’s defeat and occupation following the Second World War. 

Tea at 4:15 p.m.

Sponsored by the Visual Studies Program, and the Bi-co Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in conjunction with the Distinguished Visitors Program

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