The Society for Japanese Arts is honoured to welcome Tim Clark for the first lecture in our series Fake vs Genuine. The lecture will take place on Sunday 7 April in the main auditorium of the Museum Volkenkunde, Steenstraat 1a in Leiden and will start at 14.15 h.
When two respected scholars disagree about the authenticity of a Hokusai painting, what happens next? Does the work remain forever in limbo? As part of our research project Late Hokusai: thought, technique, society (supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK, 2016-2019) we have been re-visiting the criteria for examining the authenticity of Hokusai’s paintings. Importantly, this has been a collaborative effort – both in terms of working with our partner institutions Freer-Sackler Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and also assessing the works as a group, and then aggregating our varied opinions. Soon, the British Museum’s experimental research platform ResearchSpace (www.researchspace.org) will provide an online forum for scholars to debate these matters ‘on the record’. Most of the Hokusai paintings in question have been in public collections for a century or more: it is well overdue that we make our opinions explicit.
Tim Clark is Head of the Japanese Section in the Department of Asia at the British Museum. He has curated many exhibitions on aspects of Japanese art and authored and co-authored numerous books about Japanese pictorial art. He curated and wrote the catalogue for the 2009 exhibition Kuniyoshi from the Arthur R. Miller Collection, held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. In 2011 he published a small monograph for British Museum Press, Hokusai’s Great Wave. Tim was lead curator and catalogue author for the BM special exhibition Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art (2013). He has co-curated the exhibition Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave (2017) with Asano Shūgō, and is leading the related AHRC-funded research project Late Hokusai: Thought, Technique, Society (2016-2019), in collaboration with SOAS, University of London.
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