On July 5, 2017 the Moscow Kremlin Museums will open an exhibition 'Beyond Imagination: Treasures of Imperial Japan from the Khalili Collection, 19th to early 20th century'. It will be the first time when a part of a unique collection, which was founded in the 1970-s by a world famous scientist, collector and philanthropist Nasser David Khalili, will be shown in Russia.
The exhibition halls of the Assumption Belfry and the Patriarch's Palace will host enamel works which were mainly made by masters who were official suppliers for the Japanese Imperial court, as well as numerous varieties of world-known Japanese kimono, wonderful samples of Japanese silk embroidery, and metalwork.
Formation of the Khalili Collection initially pursued a clear goal – worldwide acquisitions of the finest examples of Japanese decorative and applied arts dating back to Emperor Mutsuhito's (1868-1912) reign for the sake of preservation for successive generations and in-depth study. Emperor Mutsuhito took the name Meiji, which means 'enlightened rule'. It was the period which marked Japan’s abandoning of self-isolation and its establishing as a world power.
Throughout the existence of the Khalili Collections, which attained international fame as the world’s best, its exhibits have been displayed in the United Kingdom, France, the USA, Germany, Japan, Spain, Holland, Australia, and Arab Emirates. Most of objects which are going to be displayed at the Moscow Kremlin Museums, have entered into the collection recently, and will be introduced to public for the first time.
Exhibition visitors will have a chance to see around 90 pieces. Most of them are spectacular examples of traditional Japanese style and metalwork techniques used for the creation of new types of goods. Their design was targeted for both domestic and foreign markets. No less significant and widely introduced in the Khalili Collection are the works of Japanese enamellers who were ranked among the wold’s best. Enamel art flourished during the Meiji period. While enriching oneself with technological innovations, it maintained traditionally high performance and unparalleled attention to detail. On display are decorative compositions and interior design items, including diverse vases, incense burners, panels, trays and boxes. Most of these pieces were produced for the Imperial family or were custom-made for major commercial firms. This subject, which is high-priority for Professor Khalili, has never before been represented in Russia from such perspective.