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140th Anniversary Thematic Exhibitions: Porcelain Sculptures from Leipzig: International Exchange in the Early Years of the Museum (2)

140th Anniversary Thematic Exhibitions: Porcelain Sculptures from Leipzig: International Exchange in the Early Years of the Museum (2)
Honkan Room 19   December 11, 2012 (Tue) - March 3, 2013 (Sun)

  
Eros and Psyche, A.W.Fr.Kister GmbH (Original by Antonio Canova), 19th century (Original: 1796) (Gift of the Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig)

To help commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Tokyo National Museum, this exhibition features ceramics from the Scheibe-Alsbach kilns in Germany. These objects were part of industrial samples donated to this museum in 1877 (Meiji 10) by the Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig.

In 1873 (Meiji 6), the Museum Bureau (established the year before and the forerunner of this museum) attended the Vienna World Exposition. The Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, a civic museum founded in 1869, also attended the exposition. These museums, both in their early stages, sent to the exposition Heinrich von Siebold as their representative. (Heinrich was the second son of Philipp Franz von Siebold, who was a German physician famous in Japan for founding Narutaki Juku, a clinic and school in Nagasaki.) Both museums obtained items through Heinrich, and the two museums decided on an exchange of objects.

At this time, the Japanese government was encouraging modern industry, which meant examples of Western industrial products were required. The newly-established Scheibe-Alsbach kilns (A.W.Fr. Kister GmbH), which produced the porcelain sculptures donated to this museum, had just received high praise by winning prizes at the Vienna World Exposition.

In Europe at this time, the production of ceramics imitating Asian porcelain wares had become possible. Many kilns produced miniature versions of marble sculptures, such as neoclassical statues produced from the end of the 18th century and ancient Greek statues that were the model for these neoclassical works. The miniatures became popular with the ever-developing general populace. In this way, art that was monopolized by aristocrats and clergy became something available to the masses.

Through porcelain sculptures from the Scheibe-Alsbach kilns, this exhibition provides a glimpse of a time when modern museums had begun in Japan.

Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Eros and Psyche, A.W.Fr.Kister GmbH (Original by Antonio Canova), 19th century (Original: 1796) (Gift of the Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig)
Ariadne on the Panther, A.W.Fr.Kister GmbH (Original by Johann Heinrich von Dannecker), 19th century (Original: 1814) (Gift of the Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig)
Apollon of Belvedere, A.W.Fr.Kister GmbH (Original by Leochares), 19th century (Original: 4th century BC) (Gift of the Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig)
The Genius of Agriculture, A.W.Fr.Kister GmbH (Original by Bertel Thorvaldsen), 19th century (Original: 1838) (Gift of the Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig)

Related Events

Heiseikan Auditorium  December 15, 2012 (Sat)   13:30 - 15:00   RESERVE_DAY
<Gallery Talks>   Porcelain Sculptures from Leipzig
Honkan Room 19  December 11, 2012 (Tue)   14:00 - 14:30   RESERVE_DAY