Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Fox in the Mirror: Bertha Lum and American Japonisme
by Walker, Nancy J., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 150; 1570862
Abstract (Summary)

The introduction of Japanese art and culture to the Western world prompted a powerful response from an entire generation of artists, writers, and musicians, including a gifted American artist named Bertha Lum. Lum travelled to Japan in the early 1900s to train with Japanese masters in the design, cutting, and printing of woodblock prints. Lum was a passionate exponent of Japonisme, and a study of her work illuminates how this phenomenon manifested itself in American art and culture.

In cultural and artistic terms, Japonisme emerged as a selective interpretation of Asian culture, a conveniently constructed image that reinforced the ideals of many at the turn of the last century. For graphic artists like Lum, the example of Japanese art provided leverage against the weight of European classicism, championed the role of the decorative arts, exemplified exquisite handcraft, and epitomized an art of natural beauty and grace.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brown, Kendall H.
Commitee: Richesson, Robin, Simms, Matthew
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Art
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 54/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Art Criticism, Art history
Keywords: Aestheticism, Art nouveau, Arts and crafts movement, Illustration, Japonisme, Wood block prints
Publication Number: 1570862
ISBN: 978-1-321-40103-5
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