A trip to Cambridge with the Japan Society

17th c illustrated scroll, Cambridge University Library Summer’s here, the sun’s shining and what better way to enjoy it than with a nice day out with the Japan Society? Yesterday I joined a small group of members on a trip to Cambridge for a look behind the scenes at the Japanese print collections at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Japanese Department at Cambridge University Library, plus a stroll around the historic streets, and a delicious lunch at Fitzbillies. Continue reading

Love in Japanese prints at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Yûgao

The night of longing: Love and desire in Japanese Prints exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is billed as complementing the shunga exhibition at the British Museum, but for my money this exhibition hits the mark that the BM’s shunga misses. Why? Because it ‘presents a more complex yearning that embraces love and the consequences of love, rather than simply desire and its gratification’, as the introduction to the exhibition says. In other words, it’s not concentrating on just one, erotic, aspect of love but exploring the full spectrum, and sharing some amazing works of art in the process. Continue reading

Edmund de Waal at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Edmund de Waal, a thousand hours

The Edmund de Waal exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is subtitled On white; Porcelain Stories from the Fitzwilliam and de Waal fans need to note that because it’s not an exhibition of de Waal’s works; it’s a re-curation by de Waal of four of the ceramic galleries at the museum with two large-scale ‘interventions’ (works) by him, one of which we’ve seen before and one which has been specially commissioned for the Fitzwilliam’s Chinese Gallery. Is it worth a day trip? I went with a couple of friends and we all absolutely loved it. Continue reading

Let it snow, let it snow…but only in Cambridge

Ogata Gekko © The Fitzwilliam Museum, CambridgeI put off going to the Snow Country exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge until now (and you thought I was just slow off the mark! Shame on you) so as to get the full shivery effect of looking at snow in the depths of winter. And it worked. What with the amount of snow in the pictures and the chilly temperature of the room they’re displayed in you could practically see our breath forming ice crystals in the air by the time we left. But in a good way. Continue reading