Japan in Sydney: Professor Sadler & modernism, 1920-30s

Exhibition dates: 3 April to 30 May

Curated by Ajioka Chiaki & Maria (Connie) Tornatore-Loong

Miss Kobe

KAWANISHI Hide 川西英 (1894 - 1965). Miss Kobe ミス神戸 1931. Purchased with funds from the Dr M J Morrissey Bequest Fund in memory of Professor A L Sadler 1996 © Estate of the artist© Photograph: Michael Myers

Japan in Sydney revealed for the first time the key role played by Arthur Lindsay Sadler (1882 - 1970) in stimulating exchange between Australian modernists and Japanese culture and aesthetics. As Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Sydney from 1922 to 1947, Sadler was instrumental in promoting Japanese art, language, architecture, interior and garden design in Australia, particularly in Sydney.

This exhibition featured the University's extensive collection of Japanese pre-WWII modernist prints, purchased from the Dr M J Morrissey Bequest in memory of Professor Sadler. These prints are juxtaposed alongside a selection of works by prominent Australian artists of the same period including Margaret Preston, Dorrit Black, Ethel Spowers, Lionel Lindsay, Thea Proctor, Adrian Feint and Paul Haefliger, as well as European artists who influenced both: Edvard Munch, Max Klinger, Käthe Kollwitz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Bernard Leach and others.

The Japan in Sydney exhibition was proudly supported by the Australia-Japan Foundation – DFAT, The Japan Foundation; Department of Japanese Studies, School of Languages and Cultures, The University of Sydney; The Oriental Society of Australia; Hamilton Art Gallery; Australian Sogetsu Teachers Association Inc., NSW Branch; TAASA; P3 Connect Pty Ltd; Kathryn and Nozomu Ogawa; and the University of Melbourne Alumni Network (NSW Branch). Exhibition lenders included the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Australia and Research Library, Canberra; Hamilton Art Gallery; Josef Lebovic Gallery; Freeland Gallery; Masuda Gallery as well as national and international private collections.

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