Downtown Bend Library: Know Japan - Ukiyo-e, Japonisme, & the Modern Art World

Wednesday, February 05, 2020
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Downtown Bend Library
Brooks Room
Explore the influence of Japanese art on 19th and 20th Century European art world.

Ukiyo-e (literally "pictures of the floating world") is the traditional Japanese name given to paintings and prints primarily depicting the lively world of theatres, brothels, and their surrounds in early modern Edo (present-day Tokyo.) Later, as the popularity of ukiyo-e prints increased and they became more widely produced and circulated, the range of subject matter expanded to include landscapes, mythical scenes, erotica, etc. The isolationist Tokugawa regime was toppled in 1868, which opened up trade between Japan and the Western world for the first time in over 200 years. This period brought a tremendous influx of Japanese art, including ukiyo-e, to Europe. This new exposure to Japanese art and culture was so influential to modern European artists that a special term, "Japonisme," was coined to describe those works of European art, architecture, and design that showcased Japanese-inspired stylistic features. The influence of Japanese art, especially ukiyo-e, changed the course of modern art, and helped open the doors to the abstraction of the early 20th Century. In this talk, COCC professor of Art History Jason Lamb will explore the history and influence of Japanese ukiyo-e prints on the modern European art world, as seen in the work of late 19th and early 20th Century artists like Mary Cassatt, Vincent Van Gogh, Alfred Stieglitz, and more.

Jason Lamb is beginning his seventh year as the lead professor of Art History at Central Oregon Community College (COCC) in Bend, Oregon. A published artist and art historian with a research specialization in Early 20th Century Avant-Garde Art, Jason earned a pair of BFA degrees in Painting and Art History from the University of Illinois before going on to complete his MA in Art History at Northern Illinois University. His Master's thesis explored the complex relationship between French and German avant-garde art and political nationalism during World War I. Born and raised in Central Illinois, Jason taught Art and Art History at a number of Illinois colleges and universities before accepting his current position at COCC in 2013. He is active in the local arts community in Bend, regularly lecturing and participating in community arts events in coordination with local high schools, art galleries, and the Deschutes Public Library. Aside from his role as a professor, Jason has worked on and off over the years as a concept artist and animator in the video game industry, where his work has been published in several commercially available video games. In addition to teaching, Jason's professional role at COCC includes the curriculum design and scheduling of all the college's Art History course offerings, the hiring of part-time and adjunct Art History faculty, as well the organization of the popular campus-wide field trip to the Portland Art Museum (an annual event he created.) Additionally, Jason is the faculty advisor for the student Art Club and serves on several administrative committees. He was granted tenure in 2018.

Know Japan
Event Type
Adult Program
Age Group(s)
Jason Lamb
Laurel Westendorf | | 541-312-1029