October 21 – November 1, 2023


  • Jessica Levin Martinez, Richard J. Schwartz Director, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
  • Ellen Avril, Chief Curator and the Judith H. Stoikov Curator of Asian Art

To register call 888-328-2089
or email res@criteriontravel.com

What to expect

  • Click on "All the Details" to download the brochure for the full itinerary, tour details, and terms.

    This 12-day study tour celebrates the great artistic traditions and the inspiration of contemporary artists in Japan.

  • Travel with CAU
    Education vacation

    Accompanied by subject matter experts from Cornell's Johnson Museum of Art, explore Japan’s many great artistic traditions, including sacred Buddhist art, tea wares, secular paintings and calligraphy, ukiyo-e prints, and Meiji period photographs.

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    Travel with energy and knowledge

    In addition to two acclaimed faculty leads, this tour will also feature Marc Keane ’79, of the Johnson Museum’s Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Garden, and ceramic artist Momoko Keane, for a special day of garden touring and a private demonstration by ikebana master Shuho Hananofu at the studio of Nihonga artist Hashimoto Kansetsu.

  • Travel with CAU
    Your experience on tour

    From Kyoto to Tokyo, experience temples, gardens, museums, galleries, and tea houses with a small group of like-minded, art-curious travelers. No prior experience necessary. Open to alumni, family, and friends.

Travel with Ivy League faculty

  • Jessica Levin Martinez
    Jessica Levin Martinez

    Jessica Levin Martinez is the Richard J. Schwartz Director of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. She is a leading advocate for museum-based interdisciplinary teaching with global collections. Prior to joining Cornell in 2019, she directed academic and public programs at Harvard Art Museums and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. She has taught museum practice and art history at George Washington University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Michigan. Her recent exhibition Clay—Modeling African Design, co-curated with Professor Suzanne Preston Blier, showed at Harvard Art Museums from 2018-2022. She has investigated Nazi-looted artworks in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and holds a PhD in History of Art & Architecture from Harvard University.

  • Ellen Avril
    Ellen Avril

    Ellen Avril is Chief Curator and the Judith H. Stoikov Curator of Asian Art at the Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. A specialist in Chinese art, her curatorial work spans broadly across the field of Asian art and she has organized numerous exhibitions and grown the Asian art collections across cultures over more than two decades at the Johnson, in addition to serving on the leadership team of the museum. She was in charge of the reinstallation of the museum’s renovated and expanded Asian art galleries that opened in 2011 with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has traveled extensively in Japan, co-taught a seminar on Zen art and culture, and organized many exhibitions of Japanese art over her career. Her publications include Traded Treasure: Indian Textiles for Global Markets (2019), Nature Observed and Imagined: 500 Years of Chinese Painting (2010), Ancient Artistry: Pre-Chinese Ceramics from the Shatzman Collection (2006) and Heavenly Earth: Chinese Green-Glazed Ceramics from the Shatzman Collection (2004). She earned her MA in Art History from the University of Kansas, and was previously associate curator in charge of East Asian art at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Learn on location: the lectures

  • Travel with Cornell
    Kyoto: traditional and modern center for the arts (Ellen Avril)

    Many of the arts we associate with Japan originated in its ancient imperial capital. We’ll explore how these artistic traditions are part of a cultural continuum that thrives today through the innovative work of modern artists.

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    Japanese Art Collections from Kyoto to Ithaca (Jessica Martinez)

    The Johnson Museum of Art has collected the arts of Japan for the past fifty years, with works spanning different media and eras from ancient times to the present day. This talk celebrates the Johnson’s collection in dialogue with the extraordinary works of art we will experience in Kyoto, considering how international exchange can open new possibilities for sharing and interpreting these works of art on campus and beyond.

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    Okada Mokichi, Hiroshi Sugimoto and the creation of a uniquely Japanese type of art-museum experience (Ellen Avril and Jessica Martinez)

    In this talk we will examine Japanese philosophies about the power of art and beauty to create harmony and to heal, and how these have manifested in the design of private art museums in Japan, focusing on the Hakone, MOA, Miho, and Odawara institutions.

  • Tokyo and the art of the new (Ellen Avril)

    The arrival of the “Black Ships” in the mid-nineteenth century marked a turning point in Japan’s attitudes towards the world. In this lecture we will look at how artists since then have embraced the new, making Tokyo an international center of the avant-garde.

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