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Tuesday, 15 October 2013 17:58

Major Gift of Japanese Art Promised to the Harvard Art Museums

A rendering of the Harvard Art Museums' new facility on Quincy Street in Cambridge, MA. A rendering of the Harvard Art Museums' new facility on Quincy Street in Cambridge, MA. Harvard Art Museums

The Harvard Art Museums announced a promised gift of approximately 300 Japanese works of art thanks to collectors Robert and Betsy Feinberg. Most of the collection is comprised of screens and hanging scrolls on silk and paper from the Edo and Meiji periods. The gift also includes books, handscrolls, fans, sculpture and a lantern. In addition to their contribution, the couple has pledged to fund an art study center in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, which will open in the new Harvard Art Museums facility next fall.

The Feinbergs were inspired to collect Japanese art after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1972. Later, Betsy’s sister, Amy Poster, the former Assistant Curator of Japanese Art at the Brooklyn Museum, helped them discover and ultimately acquire Edo period paintings. Eventually, the Feinbergs collection grew to include works from various schools and genres of Japanese art.

Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums, said, “The Feinbergs’ transformational gift of works of art enriches our current holdings of Asian art and will inspire and train future generalists and specialists in Japanese art. Their endowment of an art study center further ensures a dynamic environment for teaching and prolonged thinking and learning.”

The Feinbergs’ promised gift will make its way to Harvard over the coming years in several phases, after traveling to museums in Japan, France and the United States.

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