China in Whitechapel, Japan in Shepherd's Bush

Rupert Richard Arrowsmith

in Modernism and the Museum

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199593699
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595684 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

China in Whitechapel, Japan in Shepherd's Bush

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This chapter examines the wave of interest in Japanese visual culture that spread out from Ezra Pound profoundly to affect the work of the other literary figures associated with Imagism, and considers the circumstances under which Pound's attention turned away towards China. New evidence is presented to show that Richard Aldington began writing Japan-influenced poetry in the British Museum Print Room at the same time as Pound's visits, while John Gould Fletcher and Amy Lowell looked at similar exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The cultural effects of the 1910 Japan–British exhibition in London —attended by eight million people —are also considered. Pound's interest in China is shown to have developed during 1913 —not 1910 as has been alleged by certain other critics —as a result of two important exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery and the V&A.

Keywords: Ezra Pound; Chinese art; Japanese prints; Japan–British Exhibition; Victoria and Albert Museum; Whitechapel Gallery; Imagist poetry; Richard Aldington; Amy Lowell; Zhaoming Qian

Chapter.  13959 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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