Special Exhibition “The Enlightenment in Objects – Mr. Loudon's Collection of Mirabilia”


*For more detailed information, please download the PDF file.
PDF file with the images of the main exhibits

Main Features of the Exhibition
The educational heritage of 19th-century modern science

- The first presentation in Japan of 50 items from a first-rate British collection of educational heritage.
- Included are 14 glass specimens produced by Bohemian model makers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka.
- 11 objects were made in Japan, including a Xylarium by Katō Chikusai, and an Illustrated Album of Fish and Insects dating back to the late Edo period.
- A new perspective on 19th-century scientific heritage.

Overview of the exhibition
In parallel to his professional activities, Dutch-born banker George Loudon is a well-known patron and leader of the cultural and artistic world based in the United Kingdom, who also demonstrated his foresight in the 1970s as a collector of contemporary art. It is said that Mr. Loudon was utterly impressed, upon his visit to the Harvard Museum of Natural History, by the remarkable 19th-century glass specimens produced by Bohemian model makers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. Since then, his centre of interest as a collector shifted to the educational heritage of modern science, comprising pedagogic materials, specimens and drawings in natural history. His collection also includes nineteenth-century pedagogic material such as anatomical specimens by French doctor Auzoux, a stuffed specimen of a double-headed kitten, physiognomy specimens from China, wax-made educational materials from Italy, and natural history specimens from India, North and South America or the Middle East. Also included are a Xylarium made in the early Meiji era by Katō Chikusai, an artist attached to the Koishikawa Botanical Gardens of the University of Tokyo, an Illustrated Album of Fish and Insects dating back to the late Edo period, as well as a set comprising a celestial globe and a planisphere. Fifty of these precious items, including the abovementioned objects from Japan, will be traveling to Japan for the first time. Mr. Loudon does not hold a nostalgic view on 19th-century scientific heritage considered as something from the past; rather, this heritage is reactivated within the value system of the present era, in reference to today’s sense of design. Such principles of collecting, using the heritage from the past fading away from our epoch in order to discover new aesthetic values, is an innovative approach to a problem museums have to deal with today.

Key Information
[Title] Special Exhibition: Intermediatheque Natural History Series (5) “The Enlightenment in Objects – Mr. Loudon's Collection of Mirabilia”
[Dates] October 19, 2019 – February 24, 2020
[Opening Hours] 11:00 – 18:00 (open until 20:00 on Friday and Saturday) *Opening hours may change.
[Closed on] Mondays (if Monday is a National Holiday, the museum is closed the following Tuesday) and Year-end holidays. May close irregularly.
[Venue] Intermediatheque 2F [GREY CUBE]
[Organizer] The University Museum, the University of Tokyo (UMUT)
[Admission] Free of charge
[Address] KITTE 2-3F, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
[Access] JR lines and Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line Tokyo Station (Marunouchi South Exit). Nijubashimae Station (Exit 4) on the Chiyoda Line (about 2 minutes on foot).

[Title] "The Enlightenment in Objects – My Collection of Mirabilia"
[Lecturer] George Loudon
[Date] Saturday, October 19 2019 14:00–15:30(Doors open at 13:30)
[Venue] Intermediatheque 2F Lecture Theatre [ACADEMIA]
[Admission] Free (no reservation required)
The number of seats is limited to 48. Your understanding is appreciated.
[Language] English (with Japanese interpretation)
[Organizer] The University Museum, the University of Tokyo

- Exhibition catalogue
- Card leaflet
- Poster

Main Exhibits
Models of Fruits
Francesco Garnier Valletti / 19th century / Wax moulage with painting / 100×510×410mm / Loudon collection

Model of Europian perch (Perca fuluviatilis)
Late 19th century / Plaster with fish skin in boxes made of marble papers / 210×365×95mm / Loudon collection

Les animaux de laboratoire : l'écrevisse: anatomie et dissection : trois planches coloriées à feuillets découpés et superposés
Jules-Philippe-Louis Anglas / s.d. [1905] / In-4to flap book, Figot frères / 280×195mm / Loudon collection

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