Past Exhibitions

Beyond the Great Wave: Works by Hokusai from the British Museum

October 21, 2023 - January 7, 2024

Special-Ticketed Exhibition

Please note that Beyond the Great Wave: Works by Hokusai from the British Museum is a special-ticketed exhibition and includes General Admission ticket access (including The Power of Photography and all 8 permanent galleries).

Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760-1849) is the renowned artist behind The Great Wave, one of the most iconic prints ever made. Originally part of the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, this seminal vision of man in nature is just one of the estimated 30,000 prints, paintings, albums, and book illustrations that Hokusai designed over his 70-year career. This exhibition includes a beautiful early example of The Great Wave and ventures beyond to feature a broad selection of works that Hokusai produced right up to his death at the age of 90.

Visitors will be able to examine Hokusai's personal beliefs through more than 100 paintings, drawings, woodblock prints, and illustrated books that speak to his early career, rise to fame, interest in the natural and supernatural worlds, personal life, and search for immortality. Distinct from the art of his Japanese contemporaries, Hokusai's work is intensely individual, subjective, energized and sublime, and the exhibition will provide a powerfully emotional and spiritual experience.

Hokusai never left Japan, but his work travelled around the globe to inspire many European artists and collectors such as Monet and Van Gogh. The exhibition includes biographical portraits of six individuals who helped build the Hokusai collection at the British Museum and shows how these scholars and proponents of Japanese art understood and appreciated Hokusai’s genius, skill and invention.

Click here to purchase the book Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave from Bowers' Gallery Store.




The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum and the Bowers Museum. It is made possible with generous support from East West Bank. Additional support has been provided by the Crevier Family Foundation.

Image Credit: Under the Wave off Kanagawa ('The Great Wave'), from Thirty-six Views of Mt Fuji, Katsushika Hokusai, late 1831. Color woodblock print. Japan. 2008,3008.1.JA © Trustees of the British Museum. Acquired with the assistance of Art Fund and a contribution from the Brooke Sewell Bequest.

af logo cmyk black 1  


2002 North Main Street
Santa Ana, California 92706
TEL: 714.567.3600

Follow Us On

Bowers Hours

Tuesday - Sunday
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed on:
Fourth of July
New Year's Day