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East Meets West: Decorative Hand Fans from Europe and China in the Collection

East Meets West: Decorative Hand Fans from Europe and China in the Collection

Bouchelle Changing Gallery
Open October 17, 2020 through February 14, 2021

This exhibition highlights painted, embroidered and otherwise embellished ladies hand fans that have come into the MOAS collection over the years. A necessity for any lady in centuries past, the surface area of hand fans became a popular place for artistic expression and fans from both Eastern and Western traditions display the current art movements of the day. The artists who painted these fans were often fashionable painters who signed their work. Few art forms combine functional, ceremonial, and decorative uses as elegantly as the fan. Fewer still can match such diversity with a history stretching back at least 3,000 years. 

 

Image Credit: France 19th Century, Folding Fan with Lithograph Memorializing the Life and Legacy of Napoleon, Lithograph, wood, mother-of-pearl, Gift of Kenneth Worcester Dow and Mary Mohan Dow, 94.01.685