Dai Nippon: Kabuki prints from the Henry Dyer Collection
The Mackintosh Museum, GSA

Event Type:



167 Renfrew Street Glasgow G3 6RQ Mon-Fri 10.30am-4.30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm, Sunday closed Free admission to gallery


21 Aug 2009 - 10 Oct 2009
Fri - Sat, 10:30 - 16:30



'Rokusa the Carpenter,' Utugawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)
Colour Woodblock Print, courtesy: City of Edinburgh Council

Dai Nippon: Kabuki prints from the Henry Dyer Collection

Event info

Dai Nippon: Kabuki prints from the Henry Dyer Collection

Dai Nippon ('Great Japan') reunites a series of original late Edo period Japanese woodblock prints from the Henry Dyer Collection, acquired by the Lanarkshire-born Dyer between 1873 and 1882 during his tenure as founding Principal and Professor of Engineering at Japan's Imperial College of Engineering. 

Dyer's enthusiasm for acquiring 'pictures of the floating world', the exotic expression of another country's traditions and aesthetics, documents a genuine sense of cultural reciprocity that existed between Japan and the West at the close of the 19th Century.   The Mackintosh Museum, within the heart of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Japanese inspired Art School building, is a further enduring example of the cross-cultural transfer of knowledge and aesthetic ideals shared between Scotland and Japan from the late Victorian period onwards, and so forms the perfect setting in which to exhibit these previously undisplayed works.

Reflecting Dyer's passion for Japanese theatre and musical traditions, this exhibition will focus upon the Kabuki theatre-related material from his collection produced by the finest graphic artists of the Utagawa School of Ukiyo-e: Kuniyoshi, Kunisada, Sadahide, Kunichika and Hiroshige. Dai Nippon will explore Japan's performance traditions through a contextualisation of the prints and an explanation of their narrative and symbolic content, displaying videos of bunraku puppetry and other performance alongside Dyer's magnificent collection.

This exhibition was made possible thanks to the generous support of the keepers of the Henry Dyer Collection: Edinburgh City Libraries, City of Edinburgh Council, Mitchell Library (Glasgow) and Glasgow Museums.

The exhibition was supported by: Japan-UK 150 Festival, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Foundation, Glasgow City Council, Edinburgh City Libraries, City of Edinburgh Council, Mitchell Library, Edinburgh Art Festival

A bi-lingual English-Japanese catalogue was published to accompany the exhibition, and can be purchased by contacting the Exhibitions Department.