Art & Design

Evening lectures on university museums in Japan

25 October 2012, Norwich

Organised as part of the conference Discovery, Display and Debate: New Agendas for University Museums by the Sainsbury Institute for Art*, University of East Anglia, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science


Once, university museums were academic temples. They were often filled with esoteric specimens and tools collected and used by academics and students, and their raison-d'être was largely unchallenged. They were there because they were somehow important for the university.

Today, faced with financial pressure and new theories in museum studies that encourage more engagement with the wider public, university museums seek to be more outward-looking – they now want to be academic fora. However, this shift from temple to forum is not as straightforward as it may seem, because of the academic nature of their collections, and also due to their mission to undertake specialised research, teaching, and public engagement at the same time. While university museums across the world are now grappling with this new challenge, two in Japan have been singularly successful – and yet remain unknown in the UK.

The evening lectures will present fascinating activities by the university museums of the universities of Tokyo and Kyoto, which are at the forefront of innovative exhibition programmes crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries.


Weston Room, Norwich Cathedral Hostry, Norwich, NR1 4DH

Two short lectures on University Museums, each followed by a discussion.
The evening will end with a reception

What is the university museum? Towards a reunion of disciplines
by Prof OHNO Terufumi (Director of Kyoto University Museum)

Two decades of UMUT: from digitalmuseum to mobilemuseum
by Prof NISHINO Yoshiaki (Director of University Museum, University of Tokyo)

(Should you wish to reserve a seat, please contact Mrs Beverley Youngman:


*Sainsbury Institute for Art, comprising four Sainsbury beneficiaries at the University of East Anglia – the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and the School of World Art Studies and Museology at the University of East Anglia – promotes an integrated approach to art as a global phenomenon through a combination of disciplinary approaches, exhibitions and programmes.

25 October 2012, 6pm

Weston Room, Norwich Cathedral Hostry, Norwich, NR1 4DH

Sainsbury Institute for Art