Charles Goddard Weld (1857–1911), was a Boston-area physician, sailor, and philanthropist. Weld, a resident of Brookline, Massachusetts and a scion of the Welds of that area, practiced surgery for many years, but ultimately gave it up to manage his family's fortune. He made major contributions to two museums in Greater Boston:
Weld is donated his the collection of Ernest Fenollosa for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The museum contains one of the largest collections of Japanese art outside Japan, numbering over 100,000 objects.
In 1886, Weld attempted to sail around the world in his personal yacht. However, while moored in Yokohama, the yacht caught fire and was destroyed. As a result, Weld spent an extended amount of time with his Bostonian friends William Sturgis Bigelow and Ernest Fenollosa. The pair had already been in Japan for some time themselves, exploring the country and collecting art.
The Fenollosa-Weld Collection contains many of the most famous pieces in the Museum of Fine Arts' collection. Among them is a handscroll painting ( emaki ) depicting the 1159 Night Attack on the Sanjō Palace. Others are famous pieces by Sesshū, Kanō Eitoku, and Kanō Hōgai.
While Fenollosa and Bigelow developed very widespread and inclusive tastes in art during their time in Japan, Weld's interests remained somewhat narrowly focused. His primary interests in life were sport, boating, and martial activities such as archery. As a result, he became one of the first Americans to collect Japanese swords, spears, and other martial implements as art. In addition to full swords, Weld purchased many sword ornaments, handguards ( tsuba ), and other sword fittings such as kozuka , tiny blades tied to a swordhilt and used by the samurai for basic utilitarian tasks.
In 1911, the collections of Ernest Fenollosa and Charles G. Weld, much of it already physically in the Museum of Fine Arts, on loan indefinitely, became the property of the Museum, as the Fenollosa-Weld Collection.
Weld also made major contributions to the Peabody Essex Museum. Included among these are 110 photographs that premier American photographer Edward S. Curtis made for his 1905-1906 exhibit. Clark Worswick, curator of photography for the museum, describes them as:
"...Curtis' most carefully selected prints of what was then his life’s work...certainly these are some of the most glorious prints ever made in the history of the photographic medium. The fact that we have this man’s entire show of 1906 is one of the minor miracles of photography and museology."
The 14" by 17" prints are each unique and remain in pristine condition.
Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of such subjects as female beauties; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica. The term ukiyo-e (浮世絵) translates as "picture[s] of the floating world".
Gustave Caillebotte was a French painter who was a member and patron of the Impressionists, although he painted in a more realistic manner than many others in the group. Caillebotte was noted for his early interest in photography as an art form.
Okakura Kakuzō was a Japanese scholar who contributed to the development of arts in Japan. Outside Japan, he is chiefly remembered today as the author of The Book of Tea.
Ernest Francisco Fenollosa was an American art historian of Japanese art, professor of philosophy and political economy at Tokyo Imperial University. An important educator during the modernization of Japan during the Meiji Era, Fenollosa was an enthusiastic Orientalist who did much to preserve traditional Japanese art.
The Higgins Armory Museum is the name of a collection in the Worcester Art Museum. It was formerly a separate museum located in the nearby Higgins Armory Building in Worcester, Massachusetts, dedicated to the display of arms and armor. It was "the only museum in the country devoted solely to arms and armor" and had the second largest arms and armor collection in the country from its founding in 1931 until 2004, behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The collection consists of 2,000 objects, including 24 full suits of armor. The museum closed at the end of 2013 due to a lack of funding. Its collection and endowment were transferred and integrated into the Worcester Art Museum, with the collection on show in its own gallery. The former museum building was sold in December 2014 and now serves as a local events venue.
Edward Sylvester Morse was an American zoologist, archaeologist, and orientalist. He is considered the "Father of Japanese archaeology."
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, is the 14th largest art museum in the world, measured by public gallery area. It contains more than 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most comprehensive collections in the Americas. It is home to 8,161 paintings, surpassed among American museums only by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. With more than 1.2 million visitors a year, it is the 52nd most visited art museum in the world as of 2019.
Kanō Motonobu was a Japanese painter. He was a member of the Kanō school of painting. Through his political connections, patronage, organization, and influence he was able to make the Kanō school into what it is today. The system was responsible for the training of a great majority of painters throughout the Edo period (1603–1868). After his death, he was referred to as Kohōgen (古法眼).
The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts, US, is a successor to the East India Marine Society, established in 1799. It combines the collections of the former Peabody Museum of Salem and the Essex Institute. PEM is one of the oldest continuously operating museums in the United States and holds one of the major collections of Asian art in the United States. Its total holdings include about 1.3 million pieces, as well as twenty-two historic buildings.
William Morris Hunt was an American painter.
Charles Lang Freer was an American industrialist, art collector, and patron. He is known for his large collection of East Asian, American, and Middle Eastern Art. In 1906, Freer donated his extensive collection to the Smithsonian Institution, making him the first American to bequeath his private collection to the United States. To house the objects, including The Peacock Room by James McNeill Whistler, Freer funded the construction of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Arthur Wesley Dow was an American painter, printmaker, photographer and influential arts educator.
Adolfo Farsari was an Italian photographer based in Yokohama, Japan. His studio, the last notable foreign-owned studio in Japan, was one of the country's largest and most prolific commercial photographic firms. Largely due to Farsari's exacting technical standards and his entrepreneurial abilities, it had a significant influence on the development of photography in Japan.
Kanō Hōgai was a Meiji era (19th-century) Japanese artist of the Kanō school. As one of the last Kanō artists, he helped pioneer the nihonga art style with Hashimoto Gahō and art critic Ernest Fenollosa. Hōgai's work reflected the traditional style of the school whilst still showing experimentation and influence with Western methods. Hōgai is perhaps best known for his paintings of dragons, birds, and Buddhist gods such as Kannon.
William Sturgis Bigelow (1850–1926) was a prominent American collector of Japanese art. He was one of the first Americans to live in Japan and helped to form the standards by which Japanese art and culture were appreciated in the West.
The Peabody Museum of Salem (1915–1992), formerly the Peabody Academy of Science (1865–1915), was a museum and antiquarian society based in Salem, Massachusetts. The academy was organized in part as a successor to the East India Marine Society, which had become moribund but held a large collection of maritime materials in a museum collection at the East India Marine Hall, built in 1825 on Essex Street. The Peabody Museum was merged with the Essex Institute to form the Peabody Essex Museum in 1992. The East India Marine Hall, now embedded within the latter's modern structure, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965 in recognition of this heritage, which represents the nation's oldest continuously-operating museum collection.
Dudley Leavitt Pickman (1779–1846) was a Salem, Massachusetts, merchant who built one of the great Salem trading firms during the seaport's ascendancy as a trading power in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Pickman was a partner in the firm Devereux, Pickman & Silsbee and a state senator. Among the wealthiest Salem merchants of his day, Pickman used his own clipper ships to trade with the Far East in an array of goods ranging from indigo and coffee to pepper and spices, and was one of the state's earliest financiers, backing everything from cotton and woolen mills to railroads to water-generated power plants. Pickman also helped found what is today's Peabody Essex Museum.
Kanō Tomonobu was a Japanese painter of the Kanō school. He used the art names Shunsen (春川) and Isseisai (一青斎).