Counter-protesters Escalate 'Kimono Controversy' at MFA Boston

  • July 19, 2015 17:23

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Claude Monet’s La Japonaise (Camille Monet in Japanese Costume), 1876.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Protests that erupted this month over 'Kimono Wednesdays" at the Musuem of Fine Arts, Boston, have spurred other voices in support of the new event. Visitors were encouraged to "channel their inner Camille Monet" and don a kimono similar to the artist's wife in Claude Monet’s painting “La Japonaise.”

The event accompanied a “Spotlight” talk originally titled “Claude Monet: Flirting With the Exotic,” that looked at 19th-century France's taste for Japanese culture and style, or “japonisme.” Protestors were quick to call the event racist and pointed out that not much context was given to the kimono-wearing in front of an Impressionist painting.

On Wednesday, the controversy escalated with counter-protestors in the galleries wearing kimonos in support of the MFA's event.

“We actually do not quite understand what their point of protest is,” Jiro Usui, the Deputy Consul General of Japan in Boston told the Boston Globe. “We tried to listen to those people who are protesting, but we think together with the MFA we should encourage that Japanese culture be appreciated in a positive way.”

Read more at Boston Globe

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