This unique exhibition curated by art historian Louise Boyd brings together prints, weaponry, scroll paintings, lacquer ware, ceramics, and other fascinating Japanese material from the collections at Dumfries Museum with items kindly loaned by local people and institutions.
Visitors will be able to see both sides of Japanese culture, comparing striking samurai warrior armour and tales of heroics with cute netsuke carvings and pretty lacquer boxes. This is a rare chance to see both the beautiful and the disturbing, and to discover the connections between Japan and Dumfries and Galloway.
Welcome to our Japan! and South West Scotland exhibition! You may be wondering what connects Japan and Scotland, but there has been an ongoing exchange of art, industry, and ideas between Japan and Scotland since the 1850s when Japan ended its self-imposed isolation. You may also be asking why Dumfries Museum, with its focus on Scottish, especially local history, is exhibiting Japanese objects. However, learning about other cultures can help us to understand more about our own culture.
Japan remains as fascinating today as it was in 1935 when Dumfries Museum held a special exhibition of Japanese and Chinese art to mark its re-opening under the care of Dumfries Town Council.
Many of the items featured in 1935 were loaned by local people. This exhibition also borrows from private individuals as well as featuring highlights from the Museum's own collection, including art, weaponry and everyday items, most of which date from the later part of the Edo period (1600-1868) and the Meiji era (1868-1912).
Many people have generously contributed their time and knowledge to help put this exhibition together and deserve thanks; including
The Adachi Foundation, Japan
Louise Boyd, University of Glasgow
Broughton House, National Trust for Scotland
Dr Rosina Buckland, National Museums Scotland
The Dick Institute, East Ayrshire Council
Dr Shinya Maezaki, Ritsumeikan University
Museums Galleries Scotland
Thanks are also due to the private collectors who have kindly agreed to loan Japanese items so that others may enjoy their beauty.