Gift of Japanese Art Promised to the Harvard Art Museums by Robert and Betsy Feinberg

. October 18, 2013

The Harvard Art Museums announce a promised gift of approximately 300 Japanese works of art from the collection of Robert and Betsy Feinberg. The majority of their gift comprises screens and hanging scrolls on silk and paper from the Edo (1615–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods.

Suzuki Kiitsu, Cranes, Japanese, Edo period, mid-19th century. Pair of two‑panel folding screens; ink and color on gold paper. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg. Photo: John Tsantes and Neil Greentree.

Suzuki Kiitsu, Cranes, Japanese, Edo period, mid-19th century. Pair of two‑panel folding screens; ink and color on gold paper. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg. Photo: John Tsantes and Neil Greentree.


Every major school and painter of the Edo period is represented, and works by 18th-century Kyoto painters, such as Yosa Buson, Ike no Taiga, Soga Shōhaku, Maruyama Ōkyo, and Nagasawa Rosetsu, are a special strength. The gift also includes books, handscrolls, fans, sculpture, and a lantern. The Feinbergs’ collection will have an important place within the Harvard Art Museums permanent collections of Asian art, and their gift reinforces Harvard University’s status as a center for the study of Japanese art, especially the history of Edo period art. The couple will also fund the art study center for the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, which will open in the new Harvard Art Museums facility in the fall of 2014.

The Feinbergs’ promised gift will arrive at Harvard over the coming years in several distributions, after traveling to museums in Japan, France, and the United States. Ninety-three artworks from the collection have been touring Japan in an exhibition titled The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection. Venues include the Edo-Toyko Museum (May 21–July 15, 2013), the Miho Museum (July 20–August 18, 2013), and the Tottori Prefectural Museum (October 5–November 10, 2013). After touring Japan, the exhibition will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (February 1–August 31, 2014). A smaller exhibition of approximately 35 works from the collection will also appear at the Musée Cernuschi in France (September 19–December 11, 2014). When the new Harvard Art Museums facility at 32 Quincy Street opens in fall 2014, a selection of paintings will be displayed in the relocated permanent galleries of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. After the opening, works from the Feinbergs’ collection will be sent on a regular basis for display and for teaching purposes until the full collection comes to reside at Harvard.

More information: www.harvardartmuseums.org

Category: Museum News

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