UKIYO-E Theater

UKIYO-E Theater

Whatfs the Spaulding collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston?

The scions of a prominent Boston family, the brothers William and John Spaulding collected more than 6,500 pieces of Ukiyo-e prints from early 1900fs through 1920fs with the assistance of an architect Frank Lloyd Wright, recognized by the American Institute of Architects as "the greatest American architect of all time." Their collection is said to be the worldfs most beautiful Ukiyo-e prints collection.

Even though their collection gained the fame for its exquisite quality, they were never to be displayed since donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1921, for the preservation reasons. (The botanical pigments used on the Ukiyo-e prints were very vulnerable.) For more than 90 years now, their collection had not had a chance to be seen in public, but thanks to this reason, it managed to ward off any deterioration and maintain its best quality over the years. There are a lot of Ukiyo-e prints that are only accessible to be seen in their collection, including very rare first editions of the prints of Hokusai Katsushika, Hiroshige Utagawa, Utamaro Kitagawa, and Harunobu Suzuki.

However, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston decided to display this Spaulding collection of Ukiyo-e prints in public through the use of digital technology, which brings no harm on the original pieces at all. In Japan, NHK Promotion (the Japan broadcasting corporation) had cooperated with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to digitize the collection since 2006. After 3 years of their efforts, Japan achieved the secondary right to share their collection for 15 years limited time only. Amuse Museum finally gained a chance to show their legendary collection at our Ukiyo-e Theatre, with a total assistance of NHK promotion and Daiichi Kosho Co, Ltd. for the surrounding systems.

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