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Art Appropriation?

I've always loved the art that was inspired by Japan.

By the 1860s, several well known European and American artists were avid collectors of Japanese art. It influenced their work. This influence was so great that a new phrase took the art world by storm in 1872 — Japonisme.Japonisme is the influence of Japanese art (especially ukiyo-e wood block prints) on impressionist painters of the late 19th century. It also applies to later influences upon Art Nouveau and Cubism.

Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt - a few in a long list of western artists who incorporated qualities of Japanese art into their own.

I don't think this could happen today. Cultural appropriation is a very hot topic in the art world. Exhibitions have been cancelled because of concerns that the artist was exploiting a culture not her/his own.

I have even decided that as a white woman, it is not acceptable for me to portray children of other races in illustrations for a children's poem.

I would love to hear your comments. Just leave them below or send me an email at

Here's a very good article that describes the artists who are well-known for the Japanese influence on their work.

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