Summer Research Recap: The MET’s “The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated”

October 3, 2019

DEALL faculty members, Patricia Sieber and Naomi Fukumori, and DEALL graduate student Lindsey Stirek conducted a research trip to New York City in May 2019 to view the exhibition “The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated” at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition (held March 5-June 16, 2019) was the first major loan exhibition in North America to focus on the artistic tradition inspired by the 11th-century Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari), arguably Japan’s most celebrated literary work. Featuring the tale’s visual reception from the 11th century to the present in media ranging from paintings, robes, lacquer, woodblock prints, to manga, the exhibition afforded an aesthetically and intellectually compelling reflection of the dynamic creativity sparked by this singularly influential tale.  In addition to examining the more than 100 works included in the exhibition, the group also enjoyed the premiere of the opera “Murasaki’s Moon,” which was commissioned as a site-specific performance in conjunction with the exhibition.