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Flowers of the Four Seasons: Ten Centuries of Art from the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture

Lecture by Timon Screech: Collecting and Viewing in the Edo Period: Some Thoughts on the Ownership and Display of Paintings

August 26, 2010; 7:00 p.m.

Museum Theater

Edo painting is greatly admired today and is studied in detail, but little attention has been given to how painting was considered during the period itself. This talk focuses on objects in the Clark Collection that let us consider how and why, at the time, people bought these works of art and where they displayed them, as well as how they might have been shocked to find the objects—in the hands of the “wrong” people—placed, out of admiration, in inappropriate places.

Timon Screech is the author of ten books on the visual culture of the Edo period, including works on the effect of the “scientific gaze” on popular imagery, erotic images, and the writings of eighteenth-century travelers to Japan. He has taught the history of Japanese art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, since 1991, and in 2006 he was elected to a chair in the history of art. After receiving his B.A. at Oxford, he completed his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1991. His current research project relates to the deification of the first Tokugawa shogun Ieyasu and the cult established for him at Nikko.