Arthur Miller gifts Japanese prints to the British Museum
US philanthropist and legal scholar Arthur R. Miller has promised a gift of around 1,800 prints by Japanese artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi to the British Museum.
The donation will make the British Museum’s collection of Japanese art one of the largest in Europe.
Kuniyoshi was a late master of the ukiyo-e school of Japanese art and depicted Japan’s samurai history. Miller began collecting Japanese prints in the late 1970s.
The donation will be given to the American Friends of the British Museum in several stages. Miller placed the prints on deposit at the British Museum early this year with the intention of eventually giving them to the institution.
Miller said, "Having loved the wonderful artistry of Kuniyoshi throughout the many years I collected his work, I am delighted that the American Friends of the British Museum will accept stewardship of my gift and that the British Museum will make them available for others to study and enjoy."
Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, said, “Professor Miller's gift is one of the largest single donations of this kind of material to any UK museum. It will benefit not only the visiting public but also students, scholars and artists alike.”