Shinto: Discovery of the Divine in Japanese Art is presented in two rotations. The first rotation runs from Tuesday, April 9th to Sunday, May 19th. The second rotation runs from Thursday, May 23rd through Sunday, June 30th. The exhibition will be closed on Tuesday, May 21st and Wednesday, May 22nd to rotate the works of art. The exhibition reopens on Thursday, May 23rd.
The veneration of deities called kami has been a central feature of Japanese culture for many centuries and the inspiration for a wide range of Japanese visual art. Most recently, kami veneration falls under the auspices of a diverse body of rites known as Shinto, or the “Way of the Gods.” The first exploration devoted to Shinto art from collections in both the United States and Japan, this exhibition introduces works exemplifying kami worship from the Heian period (794–1185) through the Edo period (1615–1868).
The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue take a thematic approach to understanding the artworks created to celebrate the world of kami. From costumes worn in dances and theatrical performances at shrines to paintings of medieval pilgrimage routes and images of kami and Buddhist deities, the exhibition is an expression of the everyday engagement of people with divinities in their midst. Including about 125 works of art in two rotations, it features treasures from Japanese shrines and temples, and a significant number of works designated as Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government.
Because of the sensitivity of the objects in this exhibition, midway through the exhibitions a significant number of works of art will be replaced. Many of the works in this exhibition are made of organic materials such as silk, paper, wood and lacquer which are sensitive to light and have structural fragility. To balance our frequency of access to them with their long-term preservation, they can only be on view for a limited time. For this reason, works designated as Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government have specific requirements that limit public display for only a few weeks in any given year to ensure preservation of the artwork.
We invite and encourage visitors to return to the exhibition to see both rotations. Nonmember tickets purchased during the first rotation (April 9–May 19) can be redeemed to view the second rotation for free beginning May 23, 2019. (See ticketing information below)
Please follow the link to the exhibition checklist below for a complete list of what’s on view in each rotation.
Shinto: Discovery of the Divine in Japanese Art exhibition checklist
$10 adults; $8 seniors and students; $5 children age 6-17; $5 CMA member guests; free for CMA members and children ages 5 and under.
Non-member tickets purchased during the first rotation (April 9 – May 19) can be redeemed to view the second rotation for free starting on May 23, 2019. Ticket holders should present their original tickets or order confirmation receipt on-site to redeem. CMA members can view the exhibition for free at any time.
Private groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for a reduced rate of $7 per person. More details about group reservations can be found here.
Many of these works come from Japanese shrines and are actively worshipped objects; therefore, out of respect, the lenders ask that there be no photography allowed in this exhibition.