Japan Society E-Library

Art collectors

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Koyama Noboru

Although Arthur Morrison (1863-1945) was primarily a writer and novelist, his collection of Japanese art would go on to form one of the core collections of Japanese prints and paintings at the British Museum. This essay details his career as a writer and connoisseur of Japanese art.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Rousmaniere, Nicole Coolidge

This essay compares and contrasts the parallel careers of two of the Victorian era's most influential collectors of Japanese art, Augustus Wollaston Franks (1826-97) and James Lord Bowes (1834-1899)

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Shaigiya-Abdelsamad, Yahya

The subject of this essay is Basil William Robinson, who became an expert on Japanese swords and helped to inspire interest in the Japanese sword and associated art and crafts.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Huberman, Toni

This essay offer an account of Charles Holme's (1848-1923) career as an art collecter and connoisseur of Japanese art, as well as his founding of The Studio - the first international arts magazine.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Clark, John

This chapter details the life of Charles Wirgman (1835-1891) and his journalistic career in Japan, including as correspondant for the Illustrated London News and the founding of his satirical review the Japan Punch in Yokohoma. Wirgman was a key observer of the opening of the country, having arrived in 1861.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Britton, Dorothy

This essay offers a lively account of Elizabeth Keith's artistic career in Japan, recounting her personality, talents, and affection for Japanese craftsmanship.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Koyama Noboru

This portrait provides an account of the life of Ernest Hart (1835-1898), an ophthalmic surgeon, medical journalist, and avid connoisseur of Japanese art.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Horner, Libby

This portrait of Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) details his artistic career and interactions with the Japan Society as well as Japanese art and culture as a whole.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Ono, Ayako

George Henry (1854-1934) and E.A. Hornel (1864-1933) developed a deep appreciation for Japanese art and were heavily involved in its promotion within European artistic circles. This portrait provides an account of their careers within the context of Scotland's involvement in the modernisation of Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Checkland, Olive

This essay considers the important contribution of Henry Dyer to the success of the nascent engineering profession in Japan and to the modernization of the Japanese education system.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This portrait provides an account of the interest of Ye Sette of Odd Volumes' interest in and promotion of things Japanese within their society.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Hotta-Lister, Ayako

This portrait assesses the success of the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910 from the perspective of the Japanese organizers.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Checkland, Olive

Though he was initially an isolationist, the great artist Kawanabe Kyōsai (1832-89) had many dealings with Europeans such as Josiah Conder, and his work was much appreciated by British connoisseurs of Japanese art. This essay charts his life and tutelage of British artists in the Meiji period.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Art historian and critic Kenneth Clark visited Japan in 1963, giving him the opportunity to indulge his love of Japanese art.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Ashmore, Sonia

Lasenby Liberty (1843-1917) presided over his company at a time when Japanese luxury goods were hugely popular in Britain. This essay considers Liberty in relation to japonsime, as well as his visits to Japan to oversee business.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Numata Hideko

This essay recounts Marcus Bourne Huish's (1843-1921) important role in the development of Anglo-Japanese relations, especially through his efforts to introduce Japanese art to British people.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Horner, Libby

Matsukata Kōjirō (1865-1950) was a successful and innovative industrialist, but this portrait details his time in London, his career as an art collector and the establishment of the first museum of Western art in Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Ashmore, Sonia

Mortimer Menpes (1835-1938) was fully immersed in fin de siècle Japonisme and travelled to Japan twice. This portrait examines the influence of Japan on his artistic career.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Swan, Peter

Peter Swan went to Japan in 1953 to study Chinese painting, and during his time there covered many facets of Japanese art. Here he gives an account of his visit.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This essay provides an account of the life and career of Sir John Figgess (1909-97), businessman, intelligence officer, diplomat and art expert.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

A reassessment of the career of Sir Rutherford Alcock (1809-1897), the first British Minister to Japan from 1859-64.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Maclean, Nicolas

The Great Japan Exhibition (1981-82) opened many eyes to some of the great achievements of Japanese art and culture. This essay details what at the time was the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to its subject, even in Japan itself.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This volume was published on the occasion of the centenary of the Japan Society, and in this chapter Sir Hugh Cortazzi chronicles its hundred year history, from its founding at the 1891 Congress of Orientalists, via the two world wars and a number of royal visits, through to the 1991 Japan Festival and an assessment of the Society's then challenging state of affairs.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This essay considers the friendship between Bernard Leach and Yanagi Sōetsu (1889-1961), as well as their relationship to the Minegi movement.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Garner, Shaun

Sir Merton (1835-1921) and Lady Russell-Cotes (1835-1920) were passionate about Japan, bringing over a hundred cases of souvenirs back to England following their first visit to the country. This essay details their passion as it manifested itself in collecting Japanese objects and promoting Japanese culture.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Horner, Libby

This essay details Urushiba Mokuchū's (1889-1953) life and career in Britain as a print artist, including his close collaboration with Frank Brangwyn.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Rawlins, John

This portrait details William Anderson's (1842-1900) distinguished medical career in Japan and Britain, as well as his scholarly efforts as a collector and connoisseur of Japanese art.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Bincsik, Monika

This essay analyses and details the significance and extent of the Sutherland collection of Japanese lacquer art.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Monden, Sonoko

Although Yamanaka and Company, run by Yamanaka Sadajirō (1866-1936), was only active in London for half a century, it served as a bridge between Japan and British communities, and contributed to the collecting and study of Japanese art in Britan.

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