Study of “the original” (4) – with Professor Kato Tetsuhiro

 The Department of Research Programming is preparing for an international symposium entitled “Capturing the Original – Archives for Cultural Properties” that is to be held in December of this year. On May 9, a seminar was held to which Professor Kato Tetsuhiro of Kwansei Gakuin University was invited. Yamanashi Emiko of the Institute made a presentation entitled “The Art Research Institute and Sir Robert Witt Library” on the establishment of the Institute and the environment of art history materials in Western European societies during the 1920’s, and Professor Kato made his presentation entitled “Being ‘The Original’ – Its Significance in Art Studies” in which he spoke on the way the issue of “the original” has been dealt with in the field of Western aesthetics. These were followed by a discussion on the meaning of “the original”. Professor Kato pointed out that the longing for being “the original” existed only in and after the 19th century even in the West and that, even with such a background, Alois Riegl who was active as an art historian at the end of the 19th century did not necessarily find the value of cultural properties in their original figures, but also recognized their age-value, and that Erwin Panofsky distinguished cultural properties themselves (original) from their duplicates, noting that duplicates lacked authenticity (“aura”). This led to further discussions on such topics as the difference in quality between the record and memory of “the original” and matters that should be conveyed in preserving “the original”. We wish to make the symposium a well-developed one by considering the theme from various angles and holding enlightening discussions. We also wish to make the symposium an opportunity to contemplate on our daily work which includes investigation and research on cultural properties, as well as accumulation and publication of materials.

to page top