Miniatures is the Monterey Museum of Art’s annual holiday exhibition and fundraiser. Celebrate the holiday season with three hundred artists, all museum members, who generously donate their original artwork to help raise funds in support of museum exhibitions and programming. Choose from a diverse selection of paintings, photography, prints, sculpture, and a variety of mixed media on display in the museum’s main galleries. Everyone has the opportunity to win their favorite pieces by purchasing raffle tickets.
Food & Toy Drive
Share your holiday with those in need in our community! Beginning with the opening of Miniatures and for the next several weeks, we are hosting a food drive at MMA Pacific Street for The Food Bank for Monterey County and a toy drive for Voices for Children - CASA of Monterey County. We invite you to share your holiday and donate a non-perishable food item or a new, unwrapped gift for older youth and adults.
Portraits of Meiji Japan features hand-painted Japanese albumen photography from the Museum’s permanent collection. Approximately ten years prior to the rule of Emperor Meiji (1868-1912), known as the Meiji restoration, Japan re-established diplomatic and trading relations with the rest of the world, marking a dramatic departure from the many years of isolation. Not only did Japan adopt a new government and foreign policies, which made them a member of the international community, but their art and cultural traditions were revolutionized.
Under Meiji, artists were encouraged to study abroad and return with new insights, skills and techniques. For the next half of the century, westernization ensued and Japanese, European, and American artists inspired each other, further developing Japanese art towards the emerging modernist styles of the time. Although hand-painted photography was introduced in Europe in the mid-19th century, by the 1880’s the process had become a common practice in Japan for tourism. European and Japanese photographers, such as Baron Raimund Von Stillfried-Ratenicz (1839-1911) and Kimbei Kusakabe (1841-1934) worked together and set up studios, similar to theater sets, to make and sell portraits. Tinting and coloring the black and white photographs made them seem more realistic and brought to life the vivid colors seen on the intricately embroidered silk kimonos, the delicate flower-adorned fans and lush gardenlike backdrops, rendering them so exotic to foreigners. Though the color may seem artificial to our eyes today, many of these images deliver a romanticized glimpse into what appeared to be the traditional Japanese life in the past.
Portraits of Meiji Japan—Photography from the 1880s include portraits of high ranking individuals as well as views of ordinary daily life, and provide some historical insight into how foreigners viewed Japan. The individual photographers are generally unknown today, but several prints are by Kimbei Kusakabe, one of Japan’s first and most well-known early studio photographers.
Image: Artist Unknown, Dancers, circa 1880, hand-colored albumen print, MMA Acquisition Fund purchase
David Ligare is one of California’s most preeminent contemporary realist painters. His work is celebrated for its delicate luminescence and heightened attention to detail in his depictions of nature. He describes himself as a neo-classic artist, saying, “I believe in the value of recognizing the integrity of the thing seen, that is, in representing every element of nature as carefully and reverently as I can.”
This Monterey Now exhibition will center on the artist’s large-scale panoramic work depicting three of Monterey’s geographical highlights: its major river, mountain, and the ocean. These new works, created especially for the exhibition, will be displayed in a contemplative setting to highlight their historical and cultural significance and to emphasize their spiritual impact. The exhibition will also include a selection of his small scale preparatory studies.
In conjunction with his exhibition, Monterey Now: David Ligare, River/Mountain/Sea, the artist will present a free lecture titled “Scenic Philosophy: The Landscape of Monterey County” at the Carmel Women’s Club, 9th and San Carlos in Carmel. The event will take place on Sunday, November 24 at 3 pm. Admission is free.
Image: David Ligare, River, 2012, oil on panel, courtesy of the artist ©David Ligare, 2012