Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gallery Talk on Early Photography from the 1860 Japanese Delegation to New York

 Image borrowed from Museum of the City of New York Webpage.

Announcement from H-Japan:

Early Photography Talk at the Museum of the City of New York for the exhibition, "Samurai in New York: the First Japanese Delegation, 1860"

I would like to announce that there will be a gallery talk given by Mr. Tom Burnett, one of the most prominent collectors of early Japanese photographs in the Unites States, this Sunday, September 26th, 1:00 p.m. at the Museum of the City of New York.

Mr. Burnett is one of the major lenders to the exhibition at the museum, entitled "Samurai in New York: the First Japanese Delegation, 1860, "which commemorates the hundred fiftieth year anniversary of the Tokugawa mission's visit to the city as the final destination of their tour through the United States.  The purpose of this mission was to ratify the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the two nations, which had been concluded by Townsend Harris in 1858.

The exhibition visually illustrates this moment of history by featuring objects and images in variety of media, including contemporary photographs, newspaper illustrations, woodcut prints, decorative art, and a sword, lent from Japanese and U.S. private collections and some major museums in the city.  The exhibition will end on November 7th, but all the objects and images lent from Japan will only be shown until October 11th.

This US tour of the main delegation sent by the Tokugawa shogunate has been generally less known in comparison to Kanrin-maru, another steam ship sent by the Tokugawa to accompany the main delegation until they arrived at San Francisco.  The main delegation, on the other hand, proceeded to Washington to ratify the treaty and then went on to New York.  This mission also predated another well-known Japanese delegation in the Iwakura Mission under the Meiji government.  The exhibition will give a rare opportunity to examine this specific piece of early diplomatic history toward the end of Edo period in the environment of an American local museum in a concise display.

Link to Museum of the City of New York "Samurai Delgation in New York" Web Site:

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