June 26–September 27, 2009

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Japanese folding screens have captivated the imagination of the West since the 16th century, when Europeans had their first glimpse. Across their expansive decorative surfaces, the realities and imaginations of artists over hundreds of years have been charted with bright mineral pigments and precious gold and silver. More so than smaller painting formats, the screen is the canvas upon which artists have historically realized their most expansive visions, which is why they are so often career-defining masterpieces.

Beyond Golden Clouds celebrates the full range of the screen format, made possible by the collaboration of the Art Institute and the Saint Louis Art Museum. Unique among past shows, this exhibition displays works dating from as early as the 16th century to contemporary screens of the past decade, and features various media, including traditional paper and silk as well as stoneware and varnish. The exhibition, which will be shown at both museums, includes a total of 32 works of art. During the week of August 10–14, several works in the exhibition will be rotated out and replaced by others, offering the chance to experience the exhibition anew.


Hasegawa Soya. Willow Bridge and Waterwheel (detail), c. 1650. Kate S. Buckingham and Frederick W. Renshaw endowments.