Art: Style Was Key

In Washington, a magnificent show of 2 1/2 centuries of Japanese art

Half the population of Washington may still be lining up to see the Van Gogh show, but the exhibition that Vincent himself, as an obsessed lover of Japanese art, would most likely be heading for hangs in another part of the National Gallery of Art. It is "Edo: Art in Japan 1615-1868," a magnificent selection of nearly 300 works in every medium, from woodblock prints to lacquerware, from tiny netsuke to eight-fold painted screens, assembled by the American scholar Robert Singer and mostly lent by Japanese institutions. It is replete with objects listed in Japan as "National Treasures" and "Important Cultural...

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