Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Reflecting Woman
  • Matsumoto Masao
    1900–1964
    born: Usa, Oita prefecture, Japan ; died: Beppu, Japan ; active: Japan
  • Reflecting Woman, circa 1920s, Taisho period (1912–1926)
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • ink, pigment on paper
  • Object Height/Width: 178.43 x 169.54 cm
    Object Height/Width: 70 1/4 x 66 3/4 in
  • Museum purchase: Helen Foresman Spencer Art Acquisition Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2012.0045
Label Text
Exhibitions

Exhibition Label:
"Nature/Natural", 20-May-2011
Looking up from an open book, the woman in this painting stares into the distance. Her wan, forlorn expression evokes a moment of contemplation, distraction or perhaps boredom. Spread out on the floor is a magazine with the title Shukujo Gahō 淑女画報 or “Ladies Illustrated” (published 1912-1923). Pictorials targeted at woman began to appear in this magazine? in the early 20th century, informing and articulating the role of the “new woman” in Japanese society. As with the appearance of the Flapper in Europe and America, changing social values gave rise to radical new iterations of womenhood. In Japan, this phenomenon was embodied by the moga, (モダンガール modan gaaru) literally “modern girl”

A tone of sexual liberation and decadence surrounded the idealization of the moga. Meanwhile, in reality, widely circulated woman’s magazines propagated a much more domestic, conservative iteration of wifedom. Print media seemed to redirect the transformative energy of modernism into a benign burgeois consumerism and away from a desire for emancipation. The intimate, slightly erotic tone of this painting (the woman’s feet are bare) is layered with a general aura of ennui captured in the blank, longing stare of a woman who is perhaps still trapped in the dark interior of social domesticity.

Mobile App Exhibition Label:
"Nature/Natural", 20-May-2011
Looking up from an open book, the woman in this painting stares into the distance. Her wan, forlorn expression evokes a moment of contemplation, distraction or perhaps boredom. Spread out on the floor is a magazine with the title Shukujo Gaho ???? or “Ladies Illustrated” (published 1912-1923). Pictorials targeted at woman began to appear in this magazine? in the early 20th century, informing and articulating the role of the “new woman” in Japanese society. As with the appearance of the Flapper in Europe and America, changing social values gave rise to radical new iterations of womenhood. In Japan, this phenomenon was embodied by the moga, (?????? modan gaaru) literally “modern girl”

A tone of sexual liberation and decadence surrounded the idealization of the moga. Meanwhile, in reality, widely circulated woman’s magazines propagated a much more domestic, conservative iteration of wifedom. Print media seemed to redirect the transformative energy of modernism into a benign burgeois consumerism and away from a desire for emancipation. The intimate, slightly erotic tone of this painting (the woman’s feet are bare) is layered with a general aura of ennui captured in the blank, longing stare of a woman who is perhaps still trapped in the dark interior of social domesticity.


Exhibition Label:
"Nature/Natural," Feb-2011, Kris Ercums
Looking up from an open book, the woman in this painting stares into the distance. Her wan, forlorn expression evokes a moment of contemplation, distraction or perhaps boredom. Spread out on the floor is a magazine with the title Shukujo Gahō 淑女画報 or “Ladies Illustrated” (published 1912-1923). Pictorials targeted at woman began to appear in this magazine? in the early 20th century, informing and articulating the role of the “new woman” in Japanese society. As with the appearance of the Flapper in Europe and America, changing social values gave rise to radical new iterations of womenhood. In Japan, this phenomenon was embodied by the moga, (モダンガール modan gaaru) literally “modern girl”

A tone of sexual liberation and decadence surrounded the idealization of the moga. Meanwhile, in reality, widely circulated woman’s magazines propagated a much more domestic, conservative iteration of wifedom. Print media seemed to redirect the transformative energy of modernism into a benign burgeois consumerism and away from a desire for emancipation. The intimate, slightly erotic tone of this painting (the woman’s feet are bare) is layered with a general aura of ennui captured in the blank, longing stare of a woman who is perhaps still trapped in the dark interior of social domesticity.