The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is now featuring an exhibition of Japanese objects made in the decades between World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945), when the Art Deco movement emerged globally as set of new artistic styles. Characterized by clean lines and abstract forms evocative of the machine age, Art Deco also responded to modernist art movements such as Cubism, Futurism, and Constructivism.

The Ringling’s exhibition, “Art Deco Lacquer and Textiles from Japan,” explores how these artistic developments coincided with rapid modernization and the rise of nationalism in Japan during this era. Japanese artists and designers adapted Art Deco aesthetics to suit traditional forms, motifs, and materials, creating a distinctive version of the movement that reflected the local cultural, social, and political concerns.

Art Deco Lacquer and textiles from Japan’ provides a rare glimpse into a fascinating cultural and artistic moment in Japanese history. This small but exquisite exhibition, comprising five lacquer objects and three garments, is made possible by loans from a private Florida collection internationally renowned for its quality and breadth. These objects embody the innovative spirit and technical virtuosity of Japanese artists as they sought to reimagine their media for the 20th century.

(Dr. Rhiannon Paget, curator of Asian art at The Ringling)

Art Deco Lacquer and Textiles from Japan is on display in the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Gallery at The Ringling now through August 1, 2023.