WHISTLER AND JAPANESE INFLUENCE

Whistler, an American who lived abroad, was known at home as a painter in the Japanese style. The growing rage for Japanese themes flowed into popular literature partly in the wake of Whistler's success.


James McNeill Whistler. "La Princess du pays de la porcelaine." In Pennell, J., and E. R. Pennell. The Life of James McNeill Whistler. London and Philadelphia, 1911.

The Life of James McNeill Whistler

In 1863 Whistler posed a Greek woman in Japanese kimono and fan before a Japanese screen. Only a decade had passed since Perry's visit to Japan, but Whistler was quick to turn to Japanese motifs.


Sadakichi Hartmann. The Whistler Book. Boston: L. C. Page & Company, 1910.

The Whistler Book

"La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine" "looks too much like a Japanese print" to please Hartmann.


William Schwenck Gilbert. Mikado: An Entirely New and Original Japanese Opera in two acts, entitled The Mikado,or The Town of Titipu. London: Chappell & Co., 1885.

Mikado: An Entirely New and Original Japanese Opera in two acts, entitled The Mikado,or The Town of Titipu

A vehicle for satirizing British society, this operetta was performed throughout the English-speaking world.


John Luther Long. Madame Butterfly. New York: Century, 1898.

Madame Butterfly

The original tale of Cho-Cho-San and Lieutenant Pinkerton. Puccini's opera gave it immortality after 1904.


John Luther Long. Miss Cherry-Blossom of Tokyo. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1905.

Miss Cherry-Blossom of Tokyo

Pinkerton's fellow officer pursues Sakura-San with better results. Long followed up on his own success while a book designer drew on a Japanese print for "Miss Cherry Blossom."


Onoto Watanna [Winifred Eaton Babcock]. A Japanese Nightingale. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1901.

A Japanese Nightingale

A romance about Japanese women and American men by an American woman.


Mary Fenollosa. Blossoms from a Japanese Garden: A Book of Child-Verses. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1913. With illustrations by contemporary Japanese artists.

Blossoms from a Japanese Garden: A Book of Child-Verses


The Nineteenth Century: Americans Look to the East:
Ernest Fenollosa: Scholar and Source

The Twentieth Century: American Modernists:
Oriental Aesthetics; Leo and Gertrude Stein
Harriet Monroe and the "Imagists"
Ezra Pound and Fenollosa
H.D., Amy Lowell and John Gould Fletcher
Katherine Anne Porter and Arthur Davison Ficke
Witter Bynner
Wallace Stevens
Eastern Themes and Modernist Theater; Eugene O'Neill
Thornton Wilder
William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore
E.E. Cummings and Gertrude Stein

Exhibition Introduction

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