Conflict of Interest

Art and War in Modern Japan

Major work for historic exhibition at St Louis Art Museum

Conflicts of Interest: Art and war in Modern Japan showcases the Saint Louis Art Museum's collection of Japanese military prints and related materials- one of the largest collections of such works in the world. The selected works in the exhibition and the catalogue are part of some 1,400 objects assembled by Charles and Rosalyn Lowenhaupt of St. Louis over the course of several decades and given to the Museum between 2004 and 2015. The obejcts in the Lowenhaupt Collection are mostly color woodblock prints, but the holdings also include paintings, lithographs, photographs, stereographs, books, magazines, maps, game materials. In addition to two introductory objects from the Edo period (1615-1868), this extroardinary body of visual material chronicles Japan's rise as a modern nation from the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868 through the aftermath of Pearl Harbor in 1942, focusing on the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). With meticulously researched explanatory texts and essays by leading scholars, Conflict of Interest illuminates an important aspect of Japan's visual culture and the narratives it circulated for its citizens, allies, and enemies on the world stage. The catalogue is richly illustrated with more than 200 full-color images, with many print impressions and other works of art that are being published for the first time. A comprehensive bibliography brings together more than a century of international scholarship on the historical and cultural background of art and war in modern Japan.