For the first time in 25 years, the Museum of Fine Arts has called home every last one of its 35 Claude Monet paintings. "Monet and Boston: Lasting Impression,” which opened Saturday, explores the city’s long history of collecting the Impressionist master. As a fascinating detour, the exhibition also dips into the inspiration Monet took from ukiyo-e, a Japanese technique of woodblock printing that emerged in the 17th century.
“In the galleries, specific ukiyo-e works of art are juxtaposed with the Monet art and you can clearly see that influence,” said Debra LaKind, senior director of intellectual property and business development at the MFA.
To celebrate this under-explored history, the museum has teamed up with Japanese retail brand UNIQLO on a new line of merchandise inspired by the exhibition. T-shirts sporting ukiyo-e images from the MFA’s Japanese art collection and other products repping the museum’s Monet holdings are now on sale at UNIQLO stores and will soon be available at the museum’s gift shop. Also available is a virtual pop-up shop on uniqlo.com offering exhibition-themed puzzles, magnets, and other novelty products not available elsewhere. Plus, UNIQLO’s app has videos of museum curators and digitally scanned ukiyo-e prints not shown in the MFA’s galleries.
This marks the fourth line from UNIQLO and the MFA, a product partnership established in 2017 to highlight the museum’s deep collection of Japanese art and culture. “What better way to show our collection than on products consumers can use in their everyday life,” LaKind said.
Grace Griffin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GraceMGriffin.