Ernest Francisco Fenollosa (1857-1908), often cited as the father of Japanese art, is also the founder of the Japanese art collection at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, one of the finest collections in the field.
This publication is the facsimile reprint and its transcription of the only remaining notebook of Fenollosa and will make available for the first time the catalogue of his collection of Japanese paintings described by the collector himself. The remarkable point of this notebook is that Fenollosa mentions his opinions on Japanese art in his own voice whereas many of his other writings both in English and Japanese are often modified by editors or translators as many of them were published posthumously.
The notebook consists of four parts; the title page, the preface, the catalogue and the index. Each entry of the catalogue includes the artist name and the title of painting followed by "commentaries and notes" which show interesting, suggestive and sometimes critical views on each painting.
Fenollosa sold the collection of Japanese art to Dr. Charles Goddard Weld, another Bostonian collector, with the understanding that it was to remain permanently in the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston as the Fenollosa-Weld collection. Though some items catalogued in this notebook are no longer in the Museum’s collection, the majority of the masterpieces in the catalogue are still held there and we can appreciate their images in the museum’s website with the new commentaries based on today’s studies, which are quite different from the ones in this notebook by Fenollosa. In the transcribed entry of each item in this volume the accession numbers to the MFA’s database are added for the easy reference to the original works.
With a new introduction and editor’s notes by Seichi Yamaguchi, the leading expert on Ernest Francisco Fenollosa, this catalogue is a vital source of information for those who study Japanese art and Japonisme and its reception in the US and the West.
Table of Contents
Plates in colour:
Introduction by Seiichi Yamaguchi
Part 1: Facsimile Reprint of Complete Catalogue of Collection of Specimens of Japanese Art including Notes and Commentaries and Reference to the Other Note Books belonging to the Collector Ernest Francisco Fenollosa
Part 2-1: Transcription of the ‘Catalogue’ including Index by Ernest Francisco Fenollosa
Part 2-2: Editor’s Notes
Part 3-1: Introduction in Japanese by Seiichi Yamaguchi
Part 3-2: Translation of the ‘Complete Catalogue’ in Japanese
Part 3-3: Editor’s Notes in Japanese
Part 3-4: List of Access Number of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Part 3-5: Editor’s Index with Names and Titles in Japanese
Seiichi Yamaguchi, Professor Emeritus, Saitama University