TOPArchive < EXOTIC × MODERN: French Art Deco and inspiration afar
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Art Deco had been the epitome of its era, flourishing in France in the years between the two World Wars of the twentieth century. Inclinations towards encounters with the arts and culture of regions outside of Europe presented a significant influence on the aesthetics and formative sensibilities of Art Deco. Such as the Ballets Russe’s appearance in 1909, Josephine Baker who sailed to France in 1925, the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, Citroen’s La Croisierie Noire and La Croisierie Jaune expeditions with automobiles travelling north to south across Africa and Asia for the first time, and the L'Exposition colonial internationale at the Bois de Vicennes in 1931, various topics had enlivened the streets of Paris.

What kind of formative aspects of these distant lands did the artists and designers of the time direct their attention to? It was indeed the field of fashion that had been the first to turn its eyes to their value. Jacques Doucet, recognized as one of the most prominent fashion designers in Paris was a patron for avant-garde artists like Picasso, yet at the same time had sought innovative value in the formative elements of African art. Master French couturier Paul Poiret held his soiree la mille et deuxième nuit (The Thousand and Second Night) with guests in costumes inspired by Middle Eastern dress, thus focusing on the  extraordinary nature of this culture and leading to new developments in colors and styles.

Japonism, or an interest towards Asia as a whole, came to be reinterpreted as a catalyst for modernity. In the midst of such movements was the presence of Japanese artists such as Seizou Sugawara who had trained architect and designer Eileen Gray and designer Jean Dunand in the traditional techniques of lacquer, as well as the ivory sculptor Eugénie O’kin.

The exhibition introduces approximately 85 works including dynamic paintings and sculptures that draw inspiration from Africa and Asia, centering on those housed in the museum collections of the Musée des Années 30, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and the Mobilier National, which will be presented in Japan for the first time.


Visiting information


EXOTIC × MODERN: French Art Deco and inspiration afar


Saturday, 6 October, 2018 - Monday, 14 January, 2019


Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
5-21-9, Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel +81(0)3 3443 0201


Closed on Oct.10 & 24, Nov. 14 & 28, Dec.12 & 26, Dec. 28 – Jan. 4 & Jan. 9

Opening Times:

10:00–18:00 (Last admission: 17:30)
Nov. 23, 24, 30 and Dec. 1, 7, 8 opening until 20:00 (Last admission at 19:30)

Organized by

Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture,
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Japan Association of Art Museums

With the sponsorship of

Lion Corporation
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc.
Nippon Television Network Corporation

Supported by

Ambassade de France / Institut francais de recherche sur le Japon a la Maison franco-japonaise 

Cooperation with


With the co-sponsorship of

Toda Cooperation


  General Advance/Group
Adults General¥1,200 Advance/Group¥960
College and vocational students General¥960 Advance/Group¥760
Junior high and high school students General¥600 Advance/Group¥480
Senior(65 and over) General¥600 Advance/Group¥480

・The fees shown in parentheses are for groups (20 people or more) and for pre-purchased tickets (available online from e+:
・Admission is free for elementary and younger students and for middle school students residing in or attending school in Tokyo.
・Admission is free for visitors (and one accompanying person) with a Physical Disability Certificate, Intellectual Disability Certificate, Rehabilitation Certificate, Mental Disability Certificate, or Atomic Bomb Survivor's Certificate.
・Admission is free for seniors (65 and above) on the third Wednesday of each month.


  • Mounir Fatmi’s new video work, The Human Factor screening in the Gallery 2

    The Human Factor (2018, video, 15’ 56”) is a new video work produced for this exhibition though a collaboration with Mounir Fatmi, a contemporary artist who was born in Morroco and currently lives and works in France, and aims to reconsider the theme of “Exotic x Modern” from a contemporary perspective.


From the upper left : Van Cleef & Arpels Sarpech brooch 1924, Van Cleef & Arpels; Pierre-Emile Legrain African chair circa 1924, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris © MAD, Paris / Jean Tholance ; Emile-Adolphe Monier Gombélé circa 1930, FNAC 3528, Centre national des arts plastiques (France) Musée des années 30 / Espace Landowski (France) © droits réservés / CNAP / photo : Musée des années 30 / Espace Landowski/Mairie de Boulogne-Billancour ; Victor Desmeures Exposition coloniale internationale Paris 1931 1931, ×△◯ BA-TSU ART GALLERY
From the lower left : Paul Jouve Touaregs at the bivouac circa 1938, Ville de Boulogne-Billancourt, Musée des Années 30 © Musées de la Ville de Boulogne-Billancourt ©ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2018 G1378 Photo : Philippe Fuzeau ; Marcel Chaumet Cigaret case with Persian decoration circa1930, Collection Chaumet Paris ; Man Ray Black and White 1926, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum © MAN RAY TRUST / ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2018 G1361 ; Jean Dunand Vase 1925, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

(Top image : Clockwise from upper left) Van Cleef & Arpels Chinese inspired table clock 1930, Van Cleef & Arpels; François Pompon Polar Bear 1923-33, Gunma Museum of Art, Tatebayashi; Joseph Chaumet Powder compact circa 1925, Collection Chaumet Paris; Marcel Chaumet Cigaret case with Persian decoration circa1930, Collection Chaumet Paris; Louis Bouquet Black Africa 1931, Ville de Boulogne-Billancourt, Musée des Années 30 © Musées de la Ville de Boulogne-Billancourt Photo : Philippe Fuzeau ; Paul Poiret Robe Mariko Fujita, Paul Alexander ; René Prou Armchair 1933 Collection du Mobilier national © Isabelle Bideau ; Van Cleef & Arpels Chinese inspiration landscape lapel watch 1924, Van Cleef & Arpels