In 2012 the "Ada Ceschin and Rosanna Pilone" Foundation of Zurich deposited at MUSEC a prestigious collection of over 5,000 hand-painted Japanese albumen photographs dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which constitute one of the focal points of the museum's scientific research programme and have been exhibited in Lugano, Venice, Naples, Zurich, Genoa, Copenhagen and Parma.
In May 2018, the Collection was enriched with a second equivalent tranche of works followed, in December of the same year, by the deposit of approximately 6˙000 Japanese postcards and 300 coeval albumen photographs made in China.
Today the collection consists of more than 10,000 photographs in 203 albums, many of which have covers finely decorated by Japanese lacquer masters. It is the largest collection in the world and unique in its kind. The Japanese postcards, many of which are derived from photographs of the period, feature a variety of techniques and media. They are made on paper, crepe paper, bamboo, printed in four colours, hand-coloured in watercolour or oil, or made using the traditional Japanese technique of woodcut printing.
The Collection is the result of a patient and erudite collection carried out by Prof. Marco Fagioli since 1973. Thanks to the variety of media, techniques and subjects presented, the Collection is a fundamental element in the study of Japanese iconography of the Meiji period (1868-1912). MUSEC's research on this subject has been collected in several volumes and presented in temporary exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad.
For more information visit the Foundation's website.