The Museum begins the year with a sumptuous display of fans decorated with biblical subjects. Fittingly, the opening segment of the exhibition features folding fans painted with the story of Adam & Eve; juxtaposing an eighteenth century design with the work of a contemporary fan painter illustrates how stories from the bible have fascinated artists throughout history.
The display of over seventy fans touches upon many of the bible’s significant episodes and includes interpretations of the Finding of Moses, Abraham sacrificing Isaac and The Visitation. Eighteenth century fans feature prominently within the display and show fan painters reinterpreting master paintings and widely circulated engravings by Rubens and others to fit the fan format. At a time when art reflected social and cultural mores, fans decorated with episodes from the bible encompass spiritualty, enlightenment and other worldly concerns which remain relevant to modern society.