$1 Million Grant from the Ishibashi Foundation to Fund New Curatorial Fellowship for Japanese Art at MFA Boston

BOSTON (August 1, 2018)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has received a grant of $1 million from the Tokyo-based Ishibashi Foundation to fund a new curatorial training opportunity in the field of Japanese art. Over the next 10 years, the MFA will host five fellows, who will each serve as the Ishibashi Foundation Assistant Curator for Japanese Art for a two-year period. The fellows will collaborate with the Museum’s curatorial staff on a wide range of projects, including planning for exhibitions in Boston and Japan, cataloging the collection and researching acquisitions. An international search for the first Ishibashi Foundation Assistant Curator for Japanese Art is currently underway.

“We are grateful to the Ishibashi Foundation for their wonderful generosity. Their support allows us to foster a new curatorial generation in Boston and beyond,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director. “Over the next decade, these fellows will bring new ideas to life, broaden our perspectives and strengthen our historic commitment to Japanese art. We look forward to welcoming them, encouraging their curiosity and supporting their professional and personal growth as they forge connections with our staff and our community that will extend well beyond their time at the MFA.”

The Ishibashi Foundation Assistant Curator for Japanese Art position builds upon the Museum’s longstanding commitment to showcasing and preserving the art of Japan, which dates back to the 19th century. In 1890, the MFA became the first American museum to establish a Japanese collection and appoint a curator specializing in Japanese art. Today, the Museum houses a Japanese collection of nearly 100,000 objects—the finest and most comprehensive holdings of Japanese art outside of Japan—providing an environment rich with resources for young scholars interested in pursuing curatorial work. During their time at the MFA, the fellows will be exposed to a range of perspectives on Japanese art, learning from and collaborating with the Museum’s curators, conservators dedicated to the care of paintings and prints in the Asian Conservation Studio, and visiting scholars.

“We are honored to have an opportunity to offer this grant for the Ishibashi Foundation Assistant Curator for Japanese Art at the MFA—a new pilot program for our Foundation in educating the next generation of curators,” said Hiroshi Ishibashi, President of the Ishibashi Foundation. “With a rich collection of Japanese art, the MFA is a leading destination for international scholars. We are delighted to support this program, and are sure the fellows will make the most of the museum’s resources and global network.”

The Ishibashi Foundation was established in 1956 by leading Japanese entrepreneur Shōjirō Ishibashi, the founder of Bridgestone Corporation. The main spheres of the Foundation’s activity are the operation of the Bridgestone Museum of Art in Kyōbashi, Tokyo, and grants for artistic, cultural and educational projects. In recent years, the Foundation has been promoting support for international artistic exchange programs, responding to the globalization of the field.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, representing all cultures and time periods. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia; Art of Africa and Oceania; Art of the Ancient World; Prints and Drawings; Photography; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–5 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–10 pm. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25), while five Open Houses offer the opportunity to visit the Museum for free. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call 617.267.9300, visit mfa.org or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



Karen Frascona