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October 30th, 2001
Museum to Present Installation of Japanese Design in Celebration of Women

In celebration of the historic artistic relationship between Japan and Philadelphia-and in a salute to the participation of Japanese craft artists in the 25th Annual Craft Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from November 8 through 11, 2001--the Museum presents a survey of Japanese craft and design objects which were created for beauty and function. The installation features works from the collection that include furniture, lighting, lacquer, textiles, and ceramics. Hands On: Japanese Craft and Design of the 20th Century displays a surprising variety of media, among them a kimono made of banana fiber fabric (bashofu), a Ginza robot cabinet of plastic-laminated wood inspired by Japanese science fiction, and a collapsible steel Picnica bicycle advertised as a "second car" for every family member to enjoy. This installation of some 40 works is on view in the North Auditorium Gallery from November 7, 2001 to May 26, 2002.

"In the past fifty years, the best of Japanese design has combined traditional design elements and craft techniques with modern industrial trends making it quite natural to exhibit craft and design side by side," explains Donna Corbin, Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts at the Museum, who co-organized the installation with Felice Fischer, the Museum's Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art. Adds Felice Fischer, "Japanese craft and design have had a strong impact in the United States since the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 when Asian crafts were introduced in Philadelphia at the first successful world's fair in America. Japanese aesthetics continue to inspire much American craft-making today."

Dr. Fischer is also the organizer of West Meets East: China and Japan at the Centennial Exhibition, an installation in Galleries 241-243 that explores how Asian art was first seen at the Centennial Exhibition through works that eventually entered the Museum's collection. "This is a wonderful moment for thinking about Japan and Philadelphia," said Dr. Fischer. "Through the two current installations at the Museum, we can see how Japanese craft came West and evolved and developed in the 20th century. At the same time, at the Craft Show, we can discover the freshness of contemporary Japanese crafts."

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is presented annually by The Women's Committee and Craft Show Committee for the benefit of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibition and sale drew some 25,000 visitors to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia over a period of five days last year, and is The Women's Committee's largest single fund raising event for the Museum. Funds raised are used to purchase works for the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to contribute to conservation and publication projects, and to support exhibitions and education programs.

Show dates and hours are: Thursday, November 8 and Friday, November 9, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, November 10, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, November 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $10.00 for adults (two-day passes are $15.00) and $3.00 for children under 12; tickets may be purchased at the door, or in advance by calling the Craft Show office at (215) 684-7930. The Pennsylvania Convention Center is located at 12th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia. For more information, visit the show's web site at

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