Talk: A Passion for Printed Things: Chester Beatty’s Collection of Japanese Prints

Talk: A Passion for Printed Things: Chester Beatty’s Collection of Japanese Prints

A Passion for Printed Things: Chester Beatty’s Collection of Japanese Prints
Wednesday 20th March 2019
Schuman S205 1830-2030
 
Despite longstanding interests in the arts of East Asia, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty only began to collect Japanese woodblock prints in earnest following his retirement to Ireland in the early 1950s. At first intended to remedy a ‘gap’ in his existing collections, the acquisition of Japanese prints was closely allied to the creation of the Chester Beatty Library, the namesake institution Beatty established on Shrewsbury Road, Dublin (now the Chester Beatty, Dublin Castle). The collection of Japanese prints—which comprises more than 800 exquisite single sheet works as well as some 100 printed books—was brought together in less than ten years under the astute direction of noted print specialist, Jack Hillier. In advance of a special exhibition of works from this collection to be held at the Chester Beatty in summer 2020, this lecture explores the developing motivations behind the formation of this internationally important collection.
 
Bio
 
Mary Redfern is Curator for the East Asian Collections at the Chester Beatty, Dublin. A specialist in Japanese art, particularly prints and ceramics, her wider research interests include the creation and consumption of art between cultures. Mary completed her PhD at the University of East Anglia, examining Japanese imperial tableware and diplomatic dining. She worked with East Asian collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Museum of Scotland and Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery. Her publications include The Art of Friendship: Japanese Surimono Prints (Chester Beatty, 2017) and Tennō no dainingu hōru (The Emperor's Dining Hall) written with Yamazaki Taisuke and Imaizumi Yoshiko (Shibunkaku, 2017).