“Fantastic Stories: The Supernatural in Nineteenth-century Japanese Prints” at Bowdoin Museum


Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick is exhibiting “Fantastic Stories: The Supernatural in Nineteenth-century Japanese Prints” through March 3. Organized on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Asian Studies at Bowdoin College, this exhibition explores themes of the supernatural and otherworldly encounters in Japanese woodblock prints of the nineteenth-century. The show includes forty prints and books, all drawn from the private collection of Cornell University faculty member Dan McKee. In these narratives, protective deities touch the lives of commoners and vengeful spirits haunt those who had betrayed them. The human body is transformed, endowed with the powers of animal deities. McKee writes, “Japan, with its lack of stark division between the divine and the mundane, has particularly rich traditions of otherworldly and worldly interaction. These prints represent many pleasurable and chilling representations of what may lie out there, unseen around us, or beyond the grave.” For more information visit bowdoin.edu/art-museum.

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