Sailing ships opened the
way for an exchange of art and ideas
Worlds Revealed: The Dawn of Japanese and American Exchange
Peabody Essex Museum
November 8 through Spring 2001
Worlds Revealed: The Dawn of Japanese and
American Exchange honors the bicentennial of America's cultural and commercial ties with Japan.
The exhibition was organized by the Peabody Essex
Museum in conjunction with the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Japan. It features more
than 200 artworks, cultural objects, and documents representing the early years of Japanese-American exchange.
The Peabody Essex is a fitting home for this
monumental exhibition: In 1799 the first American ships sailed from Salem
to the Far East in search of new trading posts.
America's introduction to Japanese art and
culture is represented in an array of woodblock prints, ceramic pieces,
and richly decorated scrolls that were brought here by the first ships from Nagasaki.
Another display highlights how the whaling
industry bonded the two nations at sea. It features a fascinating
selection of scrimshawed whale teeth and a mid-19th century handscroll
depicting an American whaler's rescue of a Japanese ship in distress.
Worlds Revealed culminates with works
relating to the Treaty of Kanagawa, which established permanent trade
between the United States and Japan in 1854. Ishibashi Rochi's "The Black
Ships" offers a foreboding view of Japan's relations with the United
States. It provides the perfect endnote for a commemoration of the early
days of the Japanese and American exchange.
For more information call 978-745-9500 or visit