Art and Art History and Asian Studies Host Japanese Art Lecture

Dr. Julie Nelson Davis

Julie Nelson Davis, professor of the history of art at the University of Pennsylvania, will present an online lecture, “The Art World of Ukiyo-e: The ‘Pictures of the Floating World’ in Context,” Monday, October 18, 2021, at 5:30 pm (CT) on Zoom. Click on this link to register.

Dr. Davis is the author of Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty (2007, second edition 2021), Partners in Print: Artistic Collaboration and the Ukiyo-e Market (2015), and Picturing the Floating World: Ukiyo-e in Context (2021). She is currently working on a new book on imitation, homage, and fabrication in early modern Japanese art and an exhibition of Japanese illustrated books. Davis is also editor-in-chief for, the past president of the Japan Art History Forum (2014–2020), and a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow.

Ukiyo-e, the “pictures of the floating world,” are regarded today as masterpieces, among the most iconic (and expensive) images in Japanese art. Yet it is often said that ukiyo-e was not appreciated at home in its own time, rather, it was when prints and books arrived in France accidentally—as packing material for ceramics—that they were given due credit. In this talk, Davis debunks the myth of ukiyo-e being so little valued that it was used for packing and wrapping, and demonstrates that ukiyo-e was thoroughly appreciated as a field of artistic production, worthy of connoisseurship and even of canonization in its own time.

For further information, contact Dr. Doris Sung.

This lecture is made possible with funding from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies; and co-sponsored by the UA Department of Art and Art History and the Asian Studies program at UA.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.