Exhibition | Japan—Arts and Life: The Montgomery Collection

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 8, 2022

From MUSEC and Skira:

Japan—Arts and Life: The Montgomery Collection
Museo delle Culture, Lugano, 10 February 2022 — 8 January 2023

Japan—Arts and Life, a major exhibition dedicated to the Jeffrey Montgomery Collection, is now on view at the Museo delle Culture in Lugano. At home in Lugano for over fifty years, it is one of the largest and best-known collections of Japanese art outside Japan. With this project, MUSEC celebrates a passion for collecting and a heritage of great artistic and cultural value—a heritage that brings prestige to Lugano, consolidating the Ticino city’s historic ties with Swiss and international private art collecting.

Installed throughout two floors of the Villa Malpensata, home of MUSEC, the exhibition presents 170 works dating from the 12th to the 20th centuries—including textiles, furniture, paintings, religious and everyday-objects—each carefully selected from the over one thousand objects collected over a lifetime by Jeffrey Montgomery.

Known worldwide, the Montgomery Collection displays an extraordinary richness and a singular substance. The experience and sensitivity of the collector are at the heart of the project developed by MUSEC and mark its originality, compared to the way in which the collection has been interpreted until now. As Francesco Paolo Campione, director of MUSEC, writes in his introduction to the exhibition catalogue, “art collections can only have meaning and deep value if they are linked to an existential dimension and the human experience of those who wanted, planned, and consolidated them around themselves. The collector is indispensable to the collection: not only because he created it, but also because he guarantees its originality, interpreting the spirit of the times.”

Paolo Campione teaches Cultural Anthropology at the University of Insubria and is the Director of MUSEC. Moira Luraschi, anthropologist, is curator of the Japanese collections and the photographic collection of the Yokohama School at MUSEC.

Francesco Paolo Campione and Moira Luraschi, eds., Japan—Arts and Life: The Montgomery Collection (Milan: Skira, 2022), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-8857247724, $54.

• Francesco Paolo Campione — An Impermanent Journey between Art and Life
• Matthi Forrer — Collecting Japanese Art Objects
• Rossella Menegazzo — The Other Side of Japan: The Jeffrey Montgomery Collection between Art, Crafts, and Folklore
• Giorgio Amitran — Japan, the Beautiful, and Ourselves
• Imogen Heitmann — The Museographical Display as a Creative ‘Meta-work’

Catalogue Entries
• Paintings
• Woven Objects
• Hooks and Counterweights
• Ceramics
• Fabrics
• Lanterns
• Masks
• Furniture
• Signs
• Kettles and Pourers
• Sculptures
• Lacquers

Author Biographies

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