Hiroshige’s 100 Famous Views of Edo (feat. Takashi Murakami)
April 5–August 4, 2024
Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing and Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th Floor
What are the must-see locations in your favorite city? Where do you go when you need a breath of fresh air? What makes certain neighborhoods famous? Join an artist-insider on a tour of nineteenth-century Tokyo (then known as Edo), from lumberyards to destination restaurants, and see if his choices illuminate your own relationship with the cities you know well.
For the first time in twenty-four years, Utagawa Hiroshige’s 100 Famous Views of Edo—one of the Brooklyn Museum’s greatest treasures—returns to public display. The Museum’s complete set of these celebrated prints is among the world’s finest, full of vibrant colors preserved by decades in the dark.
While most presentations have centered on the prints’ technical sophistication and influence on European artists, here we focus on their urban subject matter. Originally published in 1856–58, the series captures the evolving socioeconomic and environmental landscape of the city that would become Tokyo. Through both the prints and complementary objects drawn from the Museum’s collection, you’ll be immersed in mid-nineteenth-century Edo and see it through the eyes of the ordinary people who populate Hiroshige’s settings. You’ll encounter all four seasons in scenes of picnics beneath cherry blossoms, summer rainstorms, falling maple leaves, and wintry dusks. The exhibition also includes modern photographs to show how Hiroshige’s scenes morphed into today’s Tokyo.
Artist Takashi Murakami (born Tokyo, Japan, 1962) takes Hiroshige’s views into a more fantastical realm with a set of his own paintings. Created in direct response to 100 Famous Views of Edo, these works invite us to reconsider Hiroshige’s world and his contributions to global art history.
Hiroshige’s 100 Famous Views of Edo (feat. Takashi Murakami) is organized by Joan Cummins, Lisa and Bernard Selz Senior Curator, Asian Art, Brooklyn Museum.