Harvard Art Museums Get Gift of Nearly 300 Edo-Era Japanese Artworks

harvard-art-museums-acquisitionThe Harvard Art Museums will be receiving a generous gift of about 300 works of Japanese art from the collection of Robert and Betsy Feinberg, the Harvard Crimson reports. The specialized collection focuses on works from the Edo period and had its humble beginnings with the purchase of a $2 poster in 1972. The gift is expected to reinforce the institution’s stature as a major center for the study of Japanese art.

“The Feinberg Collection consists of many remarkable paintings that embody surprising and unusual perspectives on the cultural history of Japan’s modern era,” Yukio Lippit, a professor at Harvard specializing in Japanese art history, said in a statement. “It will enable new course offerings at every level of the curriculum and help train future scholars and curators in the field of Japanese art. We feel incredibly fortunate.”

Nearly 100 pieces of the collection are currently touring museums in Japan as part of a show entitled “The Flowering of the Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterpieces from the Feinberg Collection.” That exhibition will make its way to the Metropolitan Museum in February 2014. A smaller exhibition is currently on display in the Tottori Prefectural Museum in Japan.

When the expanded and renovated facilities of the Harvard Art Museum reopen in fall 2014, a selection of pieces from the Feinberg collection will be on display, and the rest will be received in installments over the next few years. Additionally, the Feinbergs will also be funding one of the five spaces of the institution’s new Art Study Center, providing access to pieces from the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, which will also reopen in the fall of 2014.

— Meredith Caraher

(Photo: Junius Beebe © President and Fellows of Harvard College.)