Postcard of the Kabuki-za theatre, Tokyo - 2012x49.66.132_1


Postcard of the Kabuki-za theatre, Tokyo

Medium:Photographic print on postcard
Geography: Photograph taken at the Kabuki-za theatre, Tokyo, Japan
Date: about 1927
8.8 x 13.9 cm
Object number: 2012X49.66.132
Not on view
DescriptionStamp on back "Property of Dorothy Blair".
Object History: This postcard has stamped on the back “Property of Dorothy Blair”. Dorothy Lilian Blair was born on September 19, 1890, in Webster Groves, Missouri and grew up in Alton, Illinois, later attending Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts. After graduation in 1914, she became an Assistant in the Art and Archaeology Department at the College until 1916; was Secretary to the Director of The Cleveland Museum of Art from 1917 to 1921; an Assistant Curator in the Department of Oriental Art at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1921 to 1922, and Assistant Director and Curator of European Art and Prints at the John Herron Art Institute from 1922 to 1926. In 1927, Blair traveled to Japan as a special student in the Department of Archaeology, College of Literature, Kyoto Imperial University, which led to an interest in Japanese art. Returning to the States in 1928, Blair served as Assistant Curator of Oriental Art at The Toledo Museum of Art. From 1937 to 1941, she enrolled in a two-year graduate program at the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan, and she made research trips to Japan at this time. Unable to complete her studies due to the war, Blair continued to work at The Toledo Museum of Art until semiretirement in 1952. From 1952, Blair became an Assistant Director at the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies in Okayama, Japan. In 1954, Blair began an independent study of glass in East Asia, and in 1956, she returned to the University of Michigan to resume her part-time postgraduate study in the written Japanese language. In 1958 due to Blair's interest in Japanese glass Corning Museum of Glass appointed her a Research Fellow. She traveled to Japan and Korea to study the development of Japanese glass, returning to Corning in 1961. Her book, A History of Glass in Japan, was published in 1973. She remained as a consultant at Corning until her death on March 16, 1989, in Corning, New York at age ninety-eight. Blair donated a number of objects to the ROM in 1954, presumably due to downsizing after ostensibly retiring in 1952 or returning from Japan in 1954 (her address on record being at Toledo it is probably the former date). This is one of a series of postcards that were in her possession and were presumably donated to the ROM at that time. These may have been acquired in Japan in 1927, or between 1937 and 1941, or between 1952 and 1954 if the objects date to her time at Okayama. Judging by the documents she donated to Mount Holyoke College, the earlier date is most likely for the postcards.
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