Upcoming Exhibitions

Monkeys, Apes, and Mr. Freer

January 7–July 26, 2020
West Ambulatory

In 1912, American collector Charles L. Freer gave Oberlin College 100 works of art from China and Japan. Among these were three Japanese paintings of simian subjects, on view in this exhibition. Of the three, Street Entertainer has never been shown publicly at the Allen due to its poor condition. Through a grant from Japan’s Sumitomo Foundation, the painting has been conserved and will be on public view for the first time in more than a century. A better-known gift from the prominent collector led to the creation of the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Ukiyo-e Prints from the Mary Ainsworth Collection

January 14–June 14, 2020
Ripin Gallery

More than 100 Japanese woodblock prints from the legacy of a celebrated Oberlin alumna (1867–1950) span the history of the medium. The works—selected from the 200 works that recently toured three major venues in Japan—feature actors, courtesans, and landscapes favored by denizens of the Floating World of 17th- to 19th-century Japan.


Boredom Aesthetics: The Early Videos of Zhang Peili

January 14–July 12, 2020
Education Hallway

The Allen presents three works by the contemporary Chinese artist. In the late 1980s, Zhang began making videos that recorded monotonous gestures while emphasizing repetition, suppressing narrative, and forgoing post-production editing.