Florida State University’s The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art presents Ballroom Florida: Deco & Desire in Japan’s Jazz Age on View March 19 – September 25, 2022
Ballroom Florida was the most dazzling of Tokyo’s jazz-age dance halls. A new kind of venue in Japan in the 1920s–30s, dance halls offered a stylish space for young people to hear the latest music performed by live bands, practice dance steps with a skilled partner, and mix with like-minded peers.
Established in 1928, the Florida surpassed competitors with its capacious Art Deco interior, top-tier jazz musicians from Japan and abroad, and alluring “taxi dancers” — professional dancers employed as partners for clientele. The Florida attracted the patronage of Tokyo’s cultural and economic elites, and served as muse to writers, film makers and artists.
This exhibition celebrates a recent gift of six paintings by Enomoto Chikatoshi (1898–1973) and a photograph by Hamaya Hiroshi (1915–1999) from Mary and Robert Levenson depicting the women of the Florida and its chic décor. “This generous gift from Mary and Bob Levenson has put The Ringling on the map for modern Japanese art. Our community in Sarasota will be intrigued by the connections between Tokyo and Florida suggested by this group of artworks,” said Dr Rhiannon Paget, Curator of Asian Art.
The exhibition is augmented with loans that elaborate on themes that define this group of artworks: Art Deco design, the exotic, and elegant pleasures.
About The Ringling
The Ringling is the pre-eminent center for the arts, history and learning that is dedicated to bringing the past and contemporary culture to life through extraordinary visitor experiences. From its inception, The Ringling has joined the diverse visual traditions and theatrical spectacle of yesterday with the genre-defying global practitioners of today.
A place of exploration, discovery and respite, The Ringling’s campus in Sarasota, Florida – which includes the Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, an historic mansion, an 18th century theater and bayfront gardens – is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
As the State Art Museum of Florida and part of Florida State University, The Ringling fulfills an important educational mission. The Ringling offers formal and informal programs of study serving as a major resource for students, scholars, and lifelong learners of every age within the region, across the country and around the word.
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