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Arts Dialogue Committee
The CULCON Arts Dialogue Committee (ADC) examines obstacles to artistic exchange between Japan and the United States and explores new areas of cooperation among artists.
The U.S. ADC is chaired by CULCON panelist Dr. Anne Nishimura Morse, William and Helen Pounds Senior Curator of Japanese Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and members include: Dr. Matthew Welch, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art; Ms. Melissa Rinne, Research Fellow and International Engagement Liaison at the Kyoto National Museum; Dr. Marco Leone , Chief Scientist and Conservator, Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Dr. Gennifer Weisenfeld, Professor, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies; Duke University; Dr. Robert Mintz, Deputy Director, Arts and Programs, The Asian Art Museum, and Dr. Xiaojin Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Seattle Art Museum.
The Japan ADC is chaired by Mr. Hiroyuki Shimatani , Director, Kyushu National Museum. Other members include: Mr. Yuji Kurihara, Director of Administration, Tokyo National Museum; Ms. Yukiko Shirahara, Chief Curator, Nezu Museum; and Mr. Masanobu Ito, Japan Foundation.
The ADC works on several priority initiatives to develop a next generation of Japanese arts scholars, including:
- JAWS: International Workshop on Japanese Art History for Graduate Students (JAWS) has been an important mechanism for developing a new generation of art scholars of Japanese art.
JAWS brings together between 20 to 25 students from PhD programs in Japan, the United States, Canada, England, Europe and elsewhere, for a two-day conference and viewing sessions at museums and collections in the hosting city. The purpose of the conference is intended to provide participants with feedback on their research, institutional knowledge about different universities, museums and art world, and exposure to diverse modes of intellectual inquiry, connoisseurship and conservation.
One of the longer-term impacts of JAWS will be the successful creation of an international network of emerging scholars.
- Bilingual Digital Clearinghouse: Under the direction of Dr. Matthew Welch the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) is developing a website to include information on curatorial and conservation exchanges, exhibitions, and collections. The website is also centralizing information on procedures and preservation for U.S. collections of Japanese art, both public and private. Completion of the website will greatly aid the field in sharing resources more efficiently and avoiding duplication of efforts.
- Curatorial Exchange Activities: Curatorial exchange is another important way the ADC encourages growth of a next generation of Japanese arts specialists in the U.S. and cross-fertilization of ideas and resources among U.S. and Japanese institutions.
The ADC’s efforts have directly spawned a number of exciting programs with a significant amount of dedicated funding. For example, the Tokyo National Museum established the “Curatorial Exchange Program for Japanese Arts Specialists Abroad Planning Committee” in 2014, which has met every year since then. Its mission is to institute a network of Japanese art specialists from North America and Europe so that information and curatorial practices can be more widely shared.
- Arts Japan 2020: Preparation for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and the 25th General Conference of ICOM (International Council of Museums) in Kyoto in 2019 provide an important opportunity for the arts community to engage a new generation of Japanese culture enthusiasts in the U.S.-Japan dialogue.
Through an innovative series of articles, podcasts, interviews and social media content, Arts Japan 2020 introduces American audiences to a multitude of Japanese cultural programs taking place across the United States.