Art and Ownership in Edo-Period Japan

edited by Elizabeth Lillehoj

This volume considers how and why people bought, sold, donated, and received works of art during Japan’s Edo period (1600–1868), when opportunities to obtain art increased as audiences for art expanded. Many urbanites enjoyed money in their pockets and access to information, which allowed them to emerge as influential consumers. With this, patronage of art by a small cohort of powerful and wealthy individuals gave way to support of art by a broader audience, and concurrently, exchanges between those making art and those acquiring art developed into new and dynamic interactions.

The study of Edo-period art acquisition is comparatively new, but important to those seeking greater knowledge about art objects, as well as many others looking to understand the social life of visual forms. Some contributors to this volume examine broad themes like art and the marketplace, or art and political dissent; others explore cases of ownership by ranking officials, imperial ladies, temple abbots, and business entrepreneurs. As a whole, the volume allows for a deeper understanding of Edo-period acquisition practices, as well as a fuller comprehension of the vital connections between Japanese art and its audiences.

Elizabeth Lillehoj is Associate Professor of Art History at DePaul University in Chicago. Contributors include: Joshua A. Fogel, Canada Research Chair in modern Chinese and Japanese history at York University in Toronto; Katsuya Hirano, Assistant Professor of Japanese History at Cornell University; Itô Daisuke, Associate Professor of Japanese Art History at Okayama University; Janice Katz, Assistant Curator of Japanese Art at the Art Institute of Chicago; Timon Screech , Professor of the History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London; and Tamamushi Satoko, Professor of Japanese Art History at Musashino Art University.

208 pp, 7 x 10, Soft
64 b&w illustrations, glossary, bibliography, index
ISBN: 978-1-891640-50-6