An artist's utopia: Mortimer Menpes in Japan
This exhibition of prints, paintings and decorative arts tells the story of South Australian-born artist Mortimer Menpes (1855–1938) and his love affair with Japanese culture. Menpes was one of the first western artists to visit Japan and produce artworks of the people and their customs. He saw traditional Japan as a world where art existed through all levels of society and artists and craftspeople were greatly respected. A very popular and successful artist in Edwardian London, Menpes befriended and promoted the young Australian virtuoso pianist and composer, Percy Grainger. Mortimer Menpes' love of Japanese culture left a lasting impression on Percy and his mother, Rose.