Retirement Lecture of TANAKA Atsushi (Deputy Director General)

TANAKA Atsushi lecturing on artist KISHIDA Ryusei

 As a part of the comprehensive study meeting program for the researchers of the Institute, the lecture meeting of TANAKA Atsushi (Deputy Director General) who was retiring at the end of this fiscal year was held on March 1st. Tanaka has been with the Institute since 1994 and engaged in research study on the contemporary art and published many literatures concerning Japanese modern Western paintings especially in the Meiji and Taisho eras. His books include “TAIYO TO JINTAN: Aspects of Japanese post-impressionism and modernism, 1912-1945” (Brücke Co., Ltd., 2012).
 In the lecture titled “The substratum of the modern Japanese art ― with the focus on KISHIDA Ryusei,” the relationship between KISHIDA Ryusei as an artist of Western painting and the collectors surrounding him was viewed and discussed as the “substratum” that had supported his creative work. Tanaka’s view has deep-rooted in his research approach that was adopted in the above literary works and that he has developed over the past years. Furthermore, his lecture using abundant materials based on solid research has revealed that Kishida’s network with SUMITOMO Kanichi who was the eldest son of SUMITOMO Shunsui (the founder of the present Sumitomo Group and a well-known art collector), ODAKA Sennosuke who was a staff member of the Institute of Art Research (the predecessor of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo), and others led the artist of Western painting to become an ardent admirer of the Eastern art such as Ming & Xing-era paintings and Ukiyo-e.
 In addition to the Institute’s staff members, the lecture meeting was also attended by many former staff members of the Institute who used to work with Tanaka. A reception was held after the lecture, which was filled with a warm and friendly atmosphere just like that of an alumni reunion.
 After retirement, Tanaka will continue to support the Institute as its honorary fellow and a visiting researcher of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems.

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