Once upon a time, stuffed specimen was the most important reference for study, therefore the specimen collection represented academism. Often those collections were occupied by riches and nobles, so that the specimen must have been classic and beautiful to satisfy the owners’ aesthetic eyes. Thus, the specimen became a valuable artifact, together with well-prepared pedestals and cases.
In this exhibition, we present the superb specimen that were donated to Imperial household which includes the first penguin Japanese caught. Those are transferred to Yamashina Institute for Ornithology and now deposited to Intermediatheque. Also we present a specimen of a donated hawk that perched on a mast of a naval cruiser Takachiho, and a hanging scroll that depicts that donation ceremony.
The collection is associated with so many aspects, such as Imperial taxidermist, Shinjuku Gyoen imperial private garden, auspicious signs, mysterious specimen and so on. We provide an occasion to observe, to judge and to appreciate the collection as research materials, historical records or artistic masterpieces.
[Organizer] The University Museum, the University of Tokyo (UMUT)
[Collaboration] Jinchōdō Honpo, Ōshima Junichi, Ōshima Hitomi