Repositioning Gregorios Manos (1851-1928), founder of the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, in the context of Japonisme

Third Thursday lecture - Sainsbury Institute

Thursday 20 October, 2022
6:00pm BST - 7:00pm BST

Online lecture, via Zoom.
50 min lecture followed by Q&A.
Free and open to all, booking essential.
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Despina Zernioti, CMG (Director, Corfu Museum of Asian Art)

About the Talk

Born into an old Phanariot family, Gregorios Manos (1851-1928), studied law at Leipzing University and then began his diplomatic career in Vienna eventually rising to become Greek Ambassador to Austria from 1900-1910. It was during the period from 1890-1910 that Manos started to purchase Japanese, Chinese and Korean objects in Vienna and Paris. He retired at age 60 in 1910 moving to Paris, and devoted his time to assembling a remarkable collection of Sino-Japanese artwork. He began the complicated process of donating his collection to the Greek State in 1919. The museum, located in the Palace of St Michael and St George in Corfu, finally opened on 5 February 1928 with its founder passing away four months later. This talk examines the background to Manos’ impressive collection and gift to the nation in light of two other collections of East Asian art, namely that of George Eumorfopoulos (1863-1939) and Antonis Benakis (1973-1954).

About the Speaker

Ms Zernioti CMG is Director of the Palace of St Michael and St George and Director of the Museum of Asian Art, Corfu, Ministry of Culture since 2006. She is a trained archaeologist and conservator of antiquities. She has curated numerous exhibitions in Corfu and abroad, including highlights of the Museum of Asian Art’s Edo-period collection at the Edo Tokyo Museum (2009) and at Maison de la Culture de Japon, Paris (2011) and is currently writing a volume on the Japanese art in her museum’s collection.


Image: © Corfu Museum of Asian Art

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The Third Thursday Lecture series is funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Yakult UK.