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Title:  Views of Tokyo, Japan
Work Type:  photographs; photograph albums
Creator:  Kusakabe, Kimbei (1841-1932), Japan, photographer
Kajima, Seibei (1866-1924), Japan, photographer
Date:  ca. 1873-ca. 1892
Description:  Composite souvenir album of 30 hand-colored albumen prints from the Meiji period. Views of Tokyo show Ueno and other parks, cherry trees, flowers, ponds, teahouses, the Imperial Palace, Shinto shrines and torii, Buddhist temples, the tombs of Tokugawa shoguns at Zojoji, the graves of the Forty-seven Ronin, theaters, hotels, and the red-light district of Yoshiwara.
Dimensions:  29 x 37 cm.
Associated Name:  Stillman, E. G. (1884-1949), United States, collector
Zojoji (n.d.), Tokyo, Japan, subject
Honmonji (n.d.), Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan, subject
Yasukuni Jinja (n.d.), Tokto, Japan, subject
Sengakuji (n.d.), Tokyo, Japan, subject
Kokyo (n.d.), Tokyo, Japan, subject
Location:  Subject: Japan
Subject: Tokyo, Japan
Subject: Ueno Koen, Tokyo, Japan
Subject: Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan
Subject: Mount Atago, Tokyo, Japan
Topics:  imperial palaces; teahouses; cherry trees; parks; flowers; gardens; boats; ponds; moats; Shinto shrines; torii; gates; Buddhist temples; tombs; shoguns; Forty-seven Ronin; rivers; waterfronts; business districts; red-light districts; hotels; theaters; women; Japanese
Note:  General: Photographers unidentified but some photographs possibly taken by Kusakabe Kimbei and Kajima Seibei. Images measure 21 x 27 cm., with brief handwritten or printed captions in English.
Provenance: Gift of E.G. Stillman to Widener Library, later transferred to the Fine Arts Library.
Historical: Ernest Goodrich Stillman, the son of American financier and banker James Stillman, earned his BA from Harvard in 1908 and his MD from Columbia in 1913. He worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research from 1915-1949. A generous benefactor of Harvard University, he had many interests, including photography and collecting Japanese art and literature.
Citation/References: Nagasaki University Library. Metadata database of Japanese old photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Periods. Bennett, Terry. Old Japanese Photographs: Collectors' Data Guide. London: Quaritch, 2006.
Attribution: Many photographs from early commercial studios in Japan do not include photographer credits. Studios and shops frequently produced albums for the foreign market using the work of various photographers without attribution and without using the original captions or catalog numbers. Also, a photographer's negatives might be acquired and incorporated into another studio's stock. For these reasons and more, it is often difficult to identify the photographer of a 19th century Japanese photograph.
Related Work:  Part of: E.G. Stillman Japanese Collection
Part of: Early Photography of Japan
Related Information:  HOLLIS Catalog record
Repository:  Harvard Fine Arts Library, Special Collections
EGS23
K5 416

 Work 1 of 30  
Title:  Boat on Sumida River, near Tokyo
Work Type:  photographs
Creator:  Attributed to Kusakabe, Kimbei (1841-1932), Japan, photographer
Date:  ca. 1873
Description:  Possibly Japanese photographer Uchida Kuichi pictured (center) leaning on railing.
Dimensions:  21 x 27 cm.
Associated Name:  Stillman, E. G. (1884-1949), United States, collector
Uchida, Kuichi (ca. 1844-1875), Japan, subject
Location:  Subject: Tokyo, Japan
Subject: Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan
Topics:  boats; rivers; Japanese; photographers
Materials/Techniques:  Hand-colored albumen print mounted in album.
Note:  Citation/References: Nagasaki University Library. Metadata database of Japanese old photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Periods. ID 2658. New York Public Library Digital Gallery. Image ID 110044. Attributed to Kusakabe Kimbei.
Provenance: Gift of E.G. Stillman to Widener Library, later transferred to the Fine Arts Library.
Historical: Ernest Goodrich Stillman, the son of American financier and banker James Stillman, earned his BA from Harvard in 1908 and his MD from Columbia in 1913. He worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research from 1915-1949. A generous benefactor of Harvard University, he had many interests, including photography and collecting Japanese art and literature. Kusakabe Kimbei worked as a photographic colorist and assistant with both Felice Beato and Baron Raimund von Stillfried before opening his own studio in 1880. Professionally known by his given name Kimbei, he combined his studio portraits and scenic views of Japan with reprints of photographs by Beato, Stillfried, Uchida Kuichi, and other photographers to create souvenir albums for tourists. He also produced hand-colored collotypes and lantern slides. By 1901, he operated the largest studio in Japan with a portfolio in excess of 2,000 images. He stopped working as a photographer in 1914 and spent his remaining years painting.
General: Title from handwritten caption. Possibly photographed by an apprentice to Uchida Kuichi and later reprinted by Kusakabe Kimbei in one of his albums.
Subject: During his short life, Uchida Kuichi acquired a reputation for being Japan's best photographer. He started his career in 1865 when he opened a studio in Osaka. In 1868, he moved his studio to Yokohama and then established a branch in Tokyo a year later. Uchida achieved lasting importance as a photographer when, in 1872, the Imperial Household asked him to take the first authorized photographs of the Emperor and Empress Meiji. That same year, he accompanied the Emperor as official photographer on a tour of Japan. At the age of 32 he contracted tuberculosis and died.
Related Work:  Part of: E.G. Stillman Japanese Collection
Part of: Early Photography of Japan
Related Information:  HOLLIS Catalog record
From the album: Views of Tokyo, Japan, p. 1
Repository:  Harvard Fine Arts Library, Special Collections
EGS23.01
Record Identifier: olvgroup12479


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