Dresser’s Gifts: Ceramics and Glass from Europe and America in the Meiji Era
Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 14 : September 27, 2016 (Tue) - December 18, 2016 (Sun)
A British man arrived in Japan in the winter of 1876. His name was Christopher Dresser (1834–1904), a renowned designer who was one of the major figures of the Japonisme movement in Western art.
He brought decorative art objects from Europe, collected by the South Kensington Museum (forerunner of the Victoria and Albert Museum) as gifts to Japan. The gifts were by the courtesy of the South Kensington Museum director, who heard news that the freight steamer Nil sank on its way to Japan, carrying valued items that Japan exhibited and purchased at the Vienna World Exposition of 1873.
After his fruitful stay, Dresser also sent two groups of artworks from Britain to Japan. Moreover, he sent some of the artworks he collected in Japan to Louis Comfort Tiffany, the American designer and glass artist. Dresser had a strong influence on the spread of Japanese-style design in America as well.
This exhibition features ceramics and glass vessels from Europe and America, which the Tokyo National Museum acquired in the early Meiji era. We hope visitors enjoy these precious pieces, with their charms still entertaining us after 140 years.