Japan and Paris

October 2018

In October 2018, the students of the ARTH 774 “Japan and Paris” seminar, led by Professor Julie Nelson Davis, visited Paris with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This trip permitted students to experience first-hand the various installations and cultural events held by the city on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Meiji era in 1868. During their visit, the class explored twelve sites—museums, houses, gardens, and others—relevant to this theme of cultural exchange. These included Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny, the Musée d’Ennery, Musée d’Orsay, Musée des Arts décoratifs, and Musée Cernuschi, among others. Each student presented a one-object study on location, taking a close look at objects in a site or a site itself; these presentations will be available on a forthcoming website dedicated to the trip and seminar (http://web.sas.upenn.edu/japan-paris/). Other highlights included the Musée Guimet’s special exhibition “Meiji: Splendeurs du Japon Impérial (1868-1912)” and its accompanying symposium, an intensive object study session of illustrated texts and prints from the Japanese Collection at the Bibliothèque Nationale, as well as a conversation and reception with colleagues studying Japanese art and culture at INALCO and the Université Paris Diderot.