Feb 28, 2023 - Things to Do

Hokusai in, Bowling out, at the MFA

Hokusai's "Under the Wave off Kanagawa" on display at the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/Getty Images

The Museum of Fine Arts' next major exhibition explores the iconic Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai — his inspiration and legacy of influence from his own time to the present.

The intrigue: The MFA's exhibit features over 100 woodblock prints, paintings and illustrated books by the master himself. It features another 200 works by his own teachers, contemporary rivals and later imitators.

  • Throughout his over 70-year career, Hokusai worked several styles and covered subjects as varied as landscapes, portraits and myths.
  • The exhibit opens March 26.

Of note: Boston museum-goers might be familiar with Monet's “La Japonais,” a portrait of the impressionist's wife inspired by the popularity of Japanese art in Paris in the 1870s. The piece is a celebrated example of the impact Japanese styles had on western art.

This spring is also your last chance to catch the MFA's exhibit on African-American abstract painter Frank Bowling.

  • Bowling relocated from London to New York in 1966 and the exhibit “Frank Bowling’s Americas delves into how his art developed during the 1960s and civil rights era.

The Bowling exhibit leaves the MFA April 9.


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