Art & Design

Henry Dyer: The Japanese art of a Scottish engineer – Rosina Buckland

16 May 2016, London

The Scottish engineer Henry Dyer spent nine years in Japan (1873–82) as one of the foreign advisers hired by the new Meiji government. The Japanese artworks he acquired were divided after his death between public institutions in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Among these works, of particular interest is an exceptionally large handscroll painting, entitled ‘Theatres of the East’ and created circa 1720 by Furuyama Moromasa, grandson of Hishikawa Moronobu, the acclaimed progenitor of ukiyo-e. Over its length of 13 metres, the handscroll depicts the lively appearance of Edo’s theatre district, with a range of entertainments (kabuki, puppet theatre, comedy skits), numerous commercial operations, and hundreds of people from all walks of life. Dr Buckland’s research has revealed the wealth of detail contained in the painting, as well as its close link to another, comparable work by Moromasa in an overseas collection. In her presentation, she will introduce the scroll and the world it portrays, and suggest the motivation for the commission of this spectacular work.


Rosina Buckland read Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge and obtained her doctorate in Japanese art history from New York University (Institute of Fine Arts). She joined National Museums Scotland in 2010, where she curates the Japanese collections, comprising a large group of 19th-century woodblock prints, ceramics, metalware, lacquer, miniature arts, textiles, arms and armour, archaeological and ethnographic material.


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Free – booking recommended
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To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 7828 6330 or email or submit the online booking form.

16 May 2016, 6.45pm

The Swedenborg Society, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way (Hall entrance on Barter St), LondonWC1A 2TH

Tel:020 3075 1996

The Japan Society