Issue 21 Winter 2017

Dear Friends,  Welcome to the Winter 2017 edition of our e-magazine. In this edition, we cover the highlights from our autumn activities to research on dyes used to make ukiyo-e prints by one of our Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellows. We’re also delighted to feature the Ashmolean Museum and its Japanese art collection, exhibitions on Japan taking place in Italy and the US, and books from our very own Lisa Sainsbury Library that uncover some ingenious ways Europeans tried to portray Japan. We hope you enjoy this edition of our quarterly e-magazines. Mami MizutoriExecutive Director

Japanese Art Exhibitions outside of Japan

Must see Japanese art exhibitions to catch over the winter break Welcome to the season of mince pies and mulled wine. The winter break brings much joy to hopefully include time to catch up on great art exhibitions. For Japanese art lovers, there are fantastic exhibitions during the holiday season. It might involve a bit of travelling, but they are certainly worth a visit. Especially so as the destinations covered in this edition are in some of the most delightfull cities of the world. Happy holidays and wishing you a festive and inspiring winter break! The Japanese Renaissance. Nature of painted screens from the 15th to the 17th centuriesThe Uffizi, […]

Research Highlights

From regional to global perspectives With chillier days upon us, autumn to winter is a season for art and culture, or so goes a Japanese saying. Autumn offers ample time for indoor activities and the Institute certainly benefitted from gaining a captive audience at our various events. The monthly Third Thursday Lectures are always popular throughout the year, but our September lecture was particularly popular for its unique delivery style. In it, Dr Nadine Willems illustrated life in early 20th century Hokkaido, a large but less densely populated island in the North of Japan. Her talk was complemented by beautiful poetry readings from Professor Paul Sossiter, a Cornish born scholar who has […]

Museums with Japanese Art

Ashmolean Museum: The oldest public museum in Britain The Ashmolean Museum opened its doors to the public in 1683 as the first public museum in Britain and possibly the oldest museum in the world. The Ashmolean continues to be at the heart of intellectual pursuits in Oxford where its outstanding art and archaeological collections have inspired people throughout the centuries. The museum was originally built to house the collections of Elias Ashmole (1617-1692), a celebrated antiquarian who catalogued and later received the large collection of two gardeners, John Tradescant, father and son. The Tradescants voyaged overseas, shipping back new and exotic plant specimens for their employer, the Earl of Salisbury. […]

Fellows and their Research

Colors of Modernity: Synthetic Dyes and Changing Aesthetics of Japanese Woodblock Prints The history of synthetic dyes used in Japanese art is a truly exciting area for me. After obtaining my Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Chicago, I received the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cultures of Conservation at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, where I worked on a joint project with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to examine the impact of synthetic dyes on late 19th century Japanese woodblock prints. This year, I have been fortunate to receive the support and fellowship from the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and […]

Behind the Scenes

Reflections on 2017 and looking forward to 2018 In this edition of our e-magazine my colleague Kaz Morohashi writes about events and projects in which Sainsbury Institute was involved over the last three months. This is a new regular feature of the e-magazine that started from the last edition. We have always been eager to convey what will be happening in the future through our website and e-magazine. We also realise that it is equally important to share our achievements with our readers. Hence, the new feature. As the end of the year approaches, at the Sainsbury Institute we are looking back with happiness at our busy and productive year. […]

Treasures of the Library

Following on from my last e-magazine article, this article highlights further interesting details found in M Breton’s Le Japon, ou Moeurs, usages et costumes des habitans de cet empire (Japan: Customs and costumes of the inhabitants of this empire). Published in 1818 by A. Nepveu, this four volume set includes abundant illustrations to provide a glimpse into Japanese life. Amongst the images is this set of illustrations to the right found in volume 3. Captioned ‘Portraits de Japonais’ (portraits of Japanese), the set accompanies the section in the book on the different ways the Japanese wore their hair. The text describes how physicians and monks shaved their heads, which the image does illustrate. […]