Clark Humanities Museum

The goal of the Clark Humanities Museum, which opened in 1970, is to give students the crucial opportunity to engage directly with original works of art and other artifacts of material culture related to their courses—an irreproducible experience that sharpens critical inquiry, fosters interdisciplinary thinking, and offers the keen poignancy of authenticity in our increasingly virtual digital age.

Under Genji’s Golden Clouds A Timeless Tale of Gender, Class and Beauty 

The Tale of Genji, the world’s first novel, chronicles love, loss, and heritage in eleventh-century Heian Japan. The tale tells of Prince Genji and his role as a philanderer and politician. Themes of generational trauma, torrid infidelity, and voyeurism have provided centuries of enduring inspiration for feminist writers, artists, and cultural producers alike. Through poetry and prose, author Murasaki Shikibu offers her unique insight into stratified Heian court society and especially the lives and experiences of women.

As the natural scenery undergoes seasons of change, so do the tale’s female characters, who embark on similar journeys of emotional transformation and self-discovery. The golden clouds used in Tosa School paintings encompass themes of natural beauty and aristocracy in Japan. Take a glimpse beneath the clouds and into the alluring world of The Tale of Genji.

Under Genji’s Golden Clouds explores artistic eras and time periods inspired by the legendary tale. Featuring Tosa School paintings, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, shin hanga prints, ceramics, contemporary prints, and more, the exhibition’s pieces are all courtesy of the collection from the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Alexandra du Manoir, Alina Hernandez, Linda Dai, Maya Moore, Miriam Zhou, Queenie Ta, Samuel Wang, Sophie Uchitel, and Zora Stewart.

This exhibition was made possible by the support of Professor Emeritus Bruce Coats from Scripps College, Kirk Delman and T. Robert Pacini of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, and Claire De Chaine along with Anne Harley of the Clark Humanities Museum.

Saito Kaoru (b.1931)
Chapter 2, Hahakigi (The Broom Tree)
Japan, Shows period (1926-1989), 1982
Mezzotint, Ink and colors on paper
8 7/8 x 8 1/2 in.
Gift of Professor Bruce A. Coats
Tosa School
Suma, Chapter 12 The Tale of Genji
Japan Edo Period (1615-1868), mid 18th c.
Ink, colors, gold and silver on paper
8 x 7 in.
Purchase, Scripps Collector’s Circle
Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874–1964)
Tale of Genji: Ch. 25, Hotaru (The Fireflies)
Japan, Meiji Period (1869–1912), 1912
Woodblock print, Ink and colors on paper
5 7/8 in. x 3 ½ in.
Purchased with funds from the
Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures




Clark Humanities Museum Hours

Monday through Friday

Please note that the Clark Humanities Museum is open to all Claremont College students, faculty, and staff. If you would like to bring your class or have an event in the museum please contact Claire De Chaine to make an appointment.

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Phone: (909)-607-3606

Email: [email protected]