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In the 1870s two Bostonians—Edward Sylvester Morse and Ernest Francisco Fenollosa—were invited to teach at the University of Tokyo as part of the Meiji government’s campaign of modernization.
Not only did they introduce western scientific and political philosophy but collaborated with members of the Japanese intelligentsia in establishing important cultural institutions to preserve traditional arts.
In 1882 they were joined by the wealthy physician William Sturgis Bigelow. With the assistance of Fenollosa’s student, Okakura Kakuzō (who would later write The Book of Tea), set out to develop collections for Boston that could relate the history of Japanese art to the western world.
Today the Japanese holdings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, include more than 100,000 objects—the greatest in quantity and quality outside of Japan—and continue to serve as a cultural bridge between Japan and the United States. Anne Nishimura Morse, William and Helen Pounds Senior Curator of Japanese Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will speak on the collection.
A reception will follow the lecture.
Free admission; reservations recommended.
During her twenty-five year tenure as William and Helen Pounds Senior Curator of Japanese Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Anne Nishimura Morse has organized many critically acclaimed exhibitions. From 1992 through 2006 in collaboration with teams of scholars from Japan, she completed a fourteen-year project to re-catalogue the Museum’s renowned collections of Japanese painting and sculpture. Ms. Morse has also been a visiting professor at Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College and lectured for three summers for the Teaching East Asia program at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Sponsored by the William Sharpless Jackson Jr. endowment in collaboration with the Japan America Society of Colorado and the Japan-United States Friendship Commission.