University Museums in Japan

Mobilemuseum: SILVAE CAMERA OBSCURA, UMUT, 2011. Creative direction by NISHINO Yoshiaki
Event - Sainsbury Institute

Thursday 25 October, 2012
6:00pm BST - 8:15pm BST

Norwich Cathedral Hostry, Norwich NR1 4DH


Ohno Terufumi, Nishino Yoshiaki

Two short lectures on University Museums, each followed by a discussion. The evening will end with a reception.
Admission free. All welcome. To reserve a seat, contact Beverley Youngman at

SIfA Evening Lectures

What is the University Museum? Towards a Reunion of Disciplines
Professor Ohno Terufumi
Director of Kyoto University Museum

Two Decades of UMUT: From Digitalmuseum to Mobilemuseum
Professor Nishino Yoshiaki
Director of University Museum, University of Tokyo

Sainsbury Institute for Art University of East Anglia JSPS

Organised as part of the conference Discovery, Display and Debate: New Agendas for University Museums
by the Sainsbury Institute for Art, University of East Anglia, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

About the Event

Once, university museums were academic temples. They were often filled with esoteric specimens and tools collected and used by academics and students, and their raison-d’être was largely unchallenged. They were there because they were somehow important for the university. Today, faced with financial pressure and new theories in museum studies that encourage more engagement with the wider public, university museums seek to be more outward-looking – they now want to be academic fora. However, this shift from temple to forum is not as straightforward as it may seem, because of the academic nature of their collections, and also due to their mission to undertake specialised research, teaching, and public engagement at the same time. While university museums across the world are now grappling with this new challenge, two in Japan have been singularly successful – and yet remain unknown in the UK. The evening lectures will present fascinating activities by the university museums of the universities of Tokyo and Kyoto, which are at the forefront of innovative exhibition programmes crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Image: Mobilemuseum: SILVAE CAMERA OBSCURA, UMUT, 2011. Creative direction by NISHINO Yoshiaki

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