Exhibition: Chrysanthemums, Dragons and Samurai – Japanese Ceramics at the Musée Ariana

Date of event:   11/12/2020 − 05/09/2021

Exhibition title: Chrysanthemums, Dragons and Samurai: Japanese Ceramics at the Musée Ariana
Duration: from 11 December 2020 until 5 September 2021
Location: Musée Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland

With more than 780 items, dating from the mid-17th to the early 20th century, the Musée Ariana has one of the largest Swiss collections of Japanese ceramics. This ensemble is remarkable for the great richness of its omnipresent painted decoration.

On show for the first time in its entirety, this outstanding body of work traces the compelling history of developments in techniques and styles (blue and white, Imari, Kakiemon, Nabeshima, Satsuma and Kutani) in the Land of the Rising Sun. The main production centres represented offer a vast overview of Japanese ceramics.

Marked by both foreign influences and traditions, these articles for daily or ceremonial use, figurines and large-scale pieces were mainly designed for the export market. From their arrival in Europe in the 17th century to the Universal Exhibitions of the 19th century, these objects have never ceased to fascinate Westerners.

This Genevan public collection had not previously been the subject of a specific study. Chrysanthemums, Dragons and Samurai – Japanese ceramics at the Musée Ariana, the fourth exhibition in the series “L’Ariana sort de ses réserves” (The Ariana opens up its storerooms), aims to fill this gap. This project has given us the opportunity to carry out a major conservation programme and to spotlight recent acquisitions resulting from generous donations.

The exhibition catalogue, produced with the assistance of renowned experts from Europe and Japan, serves the dual purpose of academic reference work and art book.

For more information about the exhibition please visit the website here.

Official flyer and brochure in English and French language.