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Talk on Chester Beatty Japanese Collection

A Passion for Printed Things: Chester Beatty’s Collection of Japanese Prints

As part of the Ireland-Japan series of events this semester, there is a talk by Dr Mary Redfern on the Japanese collection in the world-famous Chester Beatty museum at 6:30pm in S205 on Wednesday 20th March. All Welcome!


A Passion for Printed Things: Chester Beatty’s Collection of Japanese Prints

Wednesday 20th March 2019

Schuman S205 1830-2030


Despite longstanding interests in the arts of East Asia, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty only began to collect Japanese woodblock prints in earnest following his retirement to Ireland in the early 1950s. At first intended to remedy a ‘gap’ in his existing collections, the acquisition of Japanese prints was closely allied to the creation of the Chester Beatty Library, the namesake institution Beatty established on Shrewsbury Road, Dublin (now the Chester Beatty, Dublin Castle). The collection of Japanese prints—which comprises more than 800 exquisite single sheet works as well as some 100 printed books—was brought together in less than ten years under the astute direction of noted print specialist, Jack Hillier. In advance of a special exhibition of works from this collection to be held at the Chester Beatty in summer 2020, this lecture explores the developing motivations behind the formation of this internationally important collection.




Mary Redfern is Curator for the East Asian Collections at the Chester Beatty, Dublin. A specialist in Japanese art, particularly prints and ceramics, her wider research interests include the creation and consumption of art between cultures. Mary completed her PhD at the University of East Anglia, examining Japanese imperial tableware and diplomatic dining. She worked with East Asian collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Museum of Scotland and Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery. Her publications include The Art of Friendship: Japanese Surimono Prints (Chester Beatty, 2017) and Tennō no dainingu hōru (The Emperor's Dining Hall) written with Yamazaki Taisuke and Imaizumi Yoshiko (Shibunkaku, 2017).



This event has been supported by the AHSS Faculty Teaching Board


Barbara Geraghty, ゲラティ・バーバラ

Roinn na Seapáinise ・Japanese Section・日本語セクション主任

Scoil na Nua-Theangacha agus na Teangeolaíochta Feidhmí,

School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics,


Ollscoil Luimnigh・University of Limerick・アイルランド国立リムリック大学



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