An Exhibition in Memory of Peter E.Palmquist

For more than two centuries, Japan turned inward. Interactions with the world outside its borders were rare until the American government sent Commodore Matthew Perry to open diplomatic relations. 150 years ago, the United States and Japan signed a Treaty of Peace and Amity in Yokohama.

A daguerreotypist accompanied Perry's mission; except for a few scratched and scarred survivors, his images are known to us today only in the form of lithograph copies.

Americans were fascinated by the exotic culture revealed first in the narrative of Perry's expedition and later in the photographs made by Westerners in Japan. When the first Japanese diplomats arrived in New York in 1860, they were greeted by curious crowds and posed for 3-D photographic portraits. Their visit was also heralded by a poem penned by Walt Whitman.

Soon, photographic studios were established in Japan, producing images of local scenery and Japanese social customs for distribution around the world.

In an age when international travel was still a great rarity, photography helped to bridge the cultural gap between East and West.


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William Heine, 1827-1885 (artist) and Ackerman (lithographer)

"Temple at Tumai, Lew Chew"

lithograph, 1856

William Heine, 1827-1885 (artist) and P. S. Duval & Co. (lithographers) based on a daguerreotype by Eliphalet Brown, Jr. (1816-1886)

"Afternoon Gossip, Lew Chew"

lithograph, 1856

Charles D. Fredricks (New York)

Members of the Japanese Embassy to the United States

Tinted albumen stereoscopic view (half shown), 1860

Attributed to Charles Leander Weed (U.S., 1824-1903)

Giant Cedars at Nikko, Japan

Mammoth-plate salt print, circa 1860

17 x 21.5 inches

Japan Photographic Association, Yokohama ( Baron Raimund Von Stillfried and Hermann Andersen)

A Nobleman and His Retinue

Tinted albumen print, 1875-1878

Unidentified Photographer, possibly Adolfo Farsari (Italian-American, 1841-1898, active Yokohama)

"Cherry Blossoms (Spring)"

Tinted albumen print, circa 1880

Unidentified Photographer, possibly Adolfo Farsari (Italian-American, 1841-1898, active Yokohama)

"Otonetoge"

Tinted albumen print, circa 1880

Kazuma Ogawa (1860-1928)

"Old-Style Armor"

Tinted albumen print, circa 1880

Kimbei Kusakabe (1841-1934)

Antics in a Restaurant

Tinted albumen print, circa 1890

Unidentified Photographer

"Hop Scotch"

Tinted albumen print, circa 1880

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