co-presented by The Japan Foundation and the Gardiner Museum
Speaker: Professor Nicole Rousmaniere (University of East Anglia and Curator, Department of Asia, British Museum)
NEW (Dec. 1): Lecture slides available for download
This talk will address the history of collecting Japanese ceramics for the British Museum. From the very foundation of the Museum in 1753, ceramics from Japan were represented in the collections. Some of these initial holdings were collected in Japan by the German physician, Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716) between 1690-1692 and then acquired by Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), the founding donor of the British Museum. A more systematic approach to the collecting of Japanese ceramics began a century later through the efforts of the then Keeper, Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks (1826-1897). The Japanese ceramic collections quickly grew not only through purchases in Europe but also were acquired directly from Japan, particularly in the later 19th century. The British Museum continues its fine legacy of astute collecting focusing most recently on contemporary Japanese ceramics.
About the Speaker:
Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere is a Curator of the Japanese Collections in the Department of Asia, British Museum. She is the founding Director of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and Professor of Japanese Art and Culture at the University of East Anglia. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 1998. Her research interests include Jômon period to contemporary ceramics in East Asia and particularly Japan, East Asian trade networks, the history of archaeology and manga. She spent three years on secondment as a Visiting Professor in Cultural Resource Studies at Tokyo University (2006-2009). She is currently working on a book manuscript for the British Museum Press entitled Four Hundred Years of Japanese Porcelain. In 2012 she wrote Vessels of Influence: China and the Birth of Porcelain in Medieval and Early Modern Japan (Bloomsbury Academic). In addition to her work at the British Museum from Summer 2011, she is the Research Director of the Sainsbury Institute.