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Exhibition related Program

Lecture “The collecting, appreciation and understanding of Japanese enamels at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London during the Meiji period”

The art of cloisonné enamelling was, from the late 1850s, one of Japan’s most successful forms of manufacture. The combining of the V&A’s historical collection of Japanese enamels (including two objects acquired at the Paris International Exposition of 1867, the earliest documented cloisonné enamels in any world collection) with the generous gift in 2011 of almost one hundred cloisonné enamels by Mr. Edwin Davies, CBE, enables the V&A to present a rounded picture of one of Japan’s most exquisite art forms, and one which featured so prominently in the export of art works during the Meiji period (1868-1912).
The talk discusses enamels in the V&A collections including decorative architectural objects, through the elegant inlay of decorative sword fittings of the late 17th century, the so-called renaissance of the craft in the 1840s and into the ‘Golden Age’ of the late 19th century. The collecting and understanding of Japanese enamels at the V&A combines the Victorian obsession with taxonomy with the appreciation of the endless patience involved in the production of the finest cloisonné enamels.

January 14th, Saturday, 2017  14:00−15:30(The door opens at 13:30)
Place:Annex Gallery 2, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Lecturer:Gregory Irvine (Victoria & Albert Museum, Senior Curator)

No booking, Free with museum admission.

Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, Namikawa exhibition public program
Tel 03-3443-0201 Fax 03-3443-3228

  • Related Exhibition

    Namikawa Yasuyuki and Japanese Cloisonné
    - The Allure of Meiji Cloisonné: The Aesthetic of Translucent Black

    Saturday, January 14 – Sunday, April 9, 2017

  • Lecturer

  • Gregory Irvine

    Gregory Irvine is Senior Curator in the Asian Department of the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A). He is principally responsible for the collections of Japanese metalwork including arms, armour and cloisonné enamels. Current primary research is on Japanese enamels with an additional focus on collecting and exhibiting Japanese art in the UK and in mainland Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is Lead Curator in the planning of a World Enamels Gallery at the V&A.