Rediscovering Forgotten Modern Japanese Painters: The Charles Stewart Smith Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art


From 1892 to 1893, whilst on his honeymoon with his third wife, Charles Stewart Smith (1832-1909) bought several thousand Japanese prints, as well as Japanese ceramics and paintings, from the Irish journalist and collector Francis Brinkley (1841–1912). Perhaps most significant among the pictorial works is a group of 100 album paintings by highly acclaimed Meiji artists such as Hashimoto Gaho (1835-1908), Kawabata Gyokusho (1842-1913), Kawanabe Kyosai (1831–1889), and Watanabe Seitei (1851-1918), as well as works by relatively unknown artists such as Okada Baison (1864-1913), Oide Toko (1841–1905), and Seki Shuko (1858- 1915). This lecture explores works by the artists represented in this “Brinkley album”, who were once highly acclaimed but now are almost lost in the Japanese art history canon. It will address who they were, why works by these various artists were eventually collated into an album and how they were connected within the Meiji art world.

Dr Eriko Tomizawa-Kay
Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow
Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures

Date: 19 February 2015, 6.00pm
Venue: Hostry, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich NR1 4EH
Tel: 01603 597507
Organiser: Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures

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