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30th Anniversary of the Yokohama Museum of Art / 160th Anniversary of the Opening of Yokohama Port
Following the Path of Commodore Perry’s Arrival through Images


Attributed to Peter Bernhard Wilhelm HEINE  "Commodore Perry Coming Ashore at Yokohama"  after 1854
53.3×80.5cm oil on canvas  Yokohama Museum of Art (donated by Mr. HARA Noriyuki and Mrs. Hara Etsuko)



"Small Boat Approaching the Main Ship"  n.d.
color on paper  27.2×38.7cm
Yokohama City Central Library

"Commodore Perry Coming Ashore at Yokohama" is a painting of the arrival of the American squadron to a small village of Yokohama on March 8th 1854. The painting has often been exhibited in our collection. The image captures the historical moment of the arrival of Commodore Perry that eventually led to the opening of Yokohama Port. This painting will be the centerpiece of the exhibition that will illustrate the story of the commencement of how Yokohama became an international city.

Eliphalet Brown Jr.
"Endo Matazaemon and His Retainers"  1854
Daguerreotype (the replica is on exhibited) 11.4×8.2cm
Yokohama Museum of Art
*Important Cultural Properties

This painting, depicting the event of March 8th 1854, is attributed to Peter Bernhard Wilhelm HEINE, who accompanied Commodore Perry on his expedition to Japan, during which time he sketched and painted numerous images. Together with photographer Eliphalet Brown Jr., Heine was the main illustrator of the expedition’s official narrative : "Narrative of the expedition of an American squadron to the China Seas and Japan : performed in the years 1852, 1853, and 1854, under the command of Commodore M.C. Perry, United States Navy, by order of the Government of the United States." It seems that photograph of the time, daguerreotype, required too long an exposure time that it made it impossible to capture the crucial moment.

Peter Bernhard Wilhelm HEINE
"Landing of Commodore Perry, officers & men of the Squadron, to meet the Imperial Commissioners at Shimoda, Japan, June 8th, 1854." (detail)   1855
lithograph  64.4×89.3cm
Printing Museum, Tokyo

At the time of Perry’s arrival, painting was the main recording medium and lithograph was just about to develop as a new method for reproduction relating to publication. This exhibition will show how visual medium such as painting, photograph, and prints interact each other to narrate and represent Perry’s expedition to Japan.

"Sketches of the Perry’s 'Black Ships'  Squadron," late 19th century
color on paper, scroll
Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History
*this scene is exhibited: Oct 18 - Nov.10, 2019

On the other hand, how did the people on the shore observe the incident of March 8th 1854? We will examine it through images illustrating Commodore Perry and his crew and the East India Squadron painted by various Japanese people. They convey the inquisitiveness and vivid curiosity of the Japanese people of the time. We will be providing various educational programs as well as talk sessions performed by our museum voluntary members in hope to enhance the rendering of Yokohama as it was 160 years ago. We hope you will enjoy them as well.


I: March 8th, 1854 / Kaei 7 February 10th : Images of Perry’s Landing at Yokohama

This section is all about the day of Perry’s arrival. With the painting in our collection "Commodore Perry Coming Ashore at Yokohama" as the centerpiece, other artworks of the view of Yokohama captured by Perry’s delegation will be exhibited along with those of ships and people portrayed by Japanese people.

II: Recording Works in watercolors, oil paintings and lithographs on The Perry Squadron in Ryukyu, Hatayamazaki, Kurihama and Shimoda.

Besides "Commodore Perry Coming Ashore at Yokohama", there are other images created in water colors, oil paintings and lithographs of the locations in Japan where the Perry’s squadron navigated namely, Ryukyu, Hatayamazaki, Kurihama and Shimoda. We will show the similarities and differences of these artworks and will verify how the incident was recorded and propagated through images and other medium.


DatesSeptember 21 (Sat.)- November 10 (Sun.), 2019
Open Hours10:00-18:00
*10:00-20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays
*10:00-21:00 on Sep.27, 28. 
Venue Art Gallery 1
Organized by Yokohama Museum of Art [Yokohama Arts Foundation]
In Cooperation with digiart,Inc.

Welcome to the renewed Yokohama Museum of Art

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