UTAC [University of Tsukuba Art Collection] and the Ishii Collection

   The University of Tsukuba has some 600 pieces of artworks collection, namely the University of Tsukuba Art Collection, abbreviated acronym UTAC. Since 1997, the Institute of Art and Design (now reorganized as Faculty of Art and Design) has acquired more than 400 pieces from sources, such as gifts from current and retired faculty members and students and ex-students, and these pieces have been kept in a room like a storage within the research building.

   In addition to these materials, from 2005 through 2010, the university authorities have received the donation of some 200 artworks from his private collection of the Tokyo resident entrepreneur Mr. ISHII Akira, whose enterprise made a financial endowment to the library-management graduate course. The so-called Ishii Collection consists some 100 Japanese and European modern paintings and works on paper, and other 100 early modern Asian porcelains. A well-design storage was established solely for this collection in the common building of the undergraduate school of art and design in 2006. The storage is now in a temperature and humidity highly controlled environment. A dedicated exhibition room was opened in 2007 within the University of Tsukuba Gallery in the University Hall.

   The Faculty of Art and Design (hereinafter, abbreviated as FAD), University of Tsukuba, has a working group for UTAC management. The group members are composed of mainly art historians with experience working as a curator. FAD considers UTAC as a scholarly artistic resource and has been seeking to utilize the art collection effectively as a symbol of research, educational outcomes and business-academia collaboration.

   Symposia and workshops on UTAC are organized mainly from an art historical point of view. Art works from UTAC has been loaned to art museums inside and outside Japan. One of the full-scale exhibitions of the Ishii Collection was held in April through June 2011 at the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, Kasama. The exhibition cheered the disaster victim affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011.

(Cited from TERAKADO Rintaro, ‘University Art Collection and Business-Academia Collaboration’, Geiso [Bulletin of the Study on Philosophy and History of Art in University of Tsukuba], 35 (2020), p. 13.)