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Kabuki: Japanese Theatre Prints on View at the National Museum of Scotland

In all, National Museums Scotland holds approximately 4,000 Japanese woodblock prints. These were acquired in the 1880s, at the peak of the craze for Japanese art and design in Europe (known as Japonisme). The collection is concentrated on the nineteenth century, the period of greatest expansion of the medium. The exhibition represents the finest examples in the collection and includes many precious and rarely seen examples.

The time span of the exhibition (1830s-1870s) also encompasses a period of significant unrest culminating in the collapse of the feudal system in 1868, followed by a period of modernisation and social reform. The later prints reflect these changes, in the style and themes and also in the introduction of new technology and dyes which expanded the possibilities for artists and publishers.

The exhibition will be supported by a publication and a programme of events.

Note to Editors:

  1. National Museums Scotland looks after museum collections of national and international importance and provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.
  1. The National Museum of Scotland reopened in summer 2011 following a three-year, £47m redevelopment. Since then it has entered the top ten most popular UK visitor attractions (ALVA), becoming the most popular attraction in the country outside of London. With nearly 1.9 million visitors in 2012, the Museum is also one of the top 20 most popular art museums and galleries in the world (The Art Newspaper). It was also voted the number one museum in the UK in TripAdvisor's inaugural Travellers' Choice Awards earlier this year.

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