The extremely rich heritage in terms of Japanese art, collected by Edoardo Chiossone during the Meiji Period in Japan, is now exhibited at Villetta Di Negro. The museum houses Japanese works from various epochs: paintings (11th to 19th cent.), weapons and armours, enamels, japans, pottery, polychrome prints, musical instruments, theatre masques, costumes and textiles, bronze items, and a rich collection of important sculptures from Japan, China and Siam.
The story of the collector and of the Museum is extremely rich and interesting, but nobody seems to care about it. It’s the most important Japanese collection in Italy and one of the most important in Europe.
When on the 28th March 1894 Aristide Olivari, a native of Genoa who was travelling around the World, visited Chiossone in his home in Tōkyō,
observed that unfourtunately “In Italy it always happens that our most greatest artists are forced to leave Italy and find somewhere else the tribute, richness and comfort they deserve”. Same old story even today, if you read the Art newspapers. They all complain about this forgotten Museum, currently hosted at Villa Dinegro (built in a Japanese style)m and of the “invisible” 15.000 items.
This article is aimed to remind to all Japanese art lovers that the Museums is suffering, and without visitors risks an institutional vulnerability.
So please if you are in Italy, visit Genoa and visit this wonderful Japanese Art Museum.
Museum of Japanese Art Edoardo Chiossone