Courier duties to the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

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By | From the Collections

Leonardo di Vinci, Damien Hirst and Marc Quinn are just a few of the famous artists whose works will be displayed at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, as well as other contemporary and historical items from the collections of the Wellcome Library and Wellcome Collections. This exciting exhibition is based on the theme “Medicine and art: Imagining a future for life and love”, and my colleague Stefania and I have been privileged – in our roles as conservators at the Wellcome Library – to be involved.

We travelled to Tokyo last week, arriving on 19 November when we settled into our apartments to recuperate from the long journey. Jet lag was quickly forgotten as we traveled around Tokyo, visiting the infamous fish market with Mami Hirose, the Project Manager at the Museum and two other couriers from the Science Museum (who are also loaning many items to this exhibition) – Emma Duggan and Lisa O’Sullivan among other sites.

The Mori Art Museum (located in the Mori Tower – see top image) has 6 galleries and 2 halls, and we started our first working day in Gallery 6 by unpacking the first X-ray machine and some of the iconographic items from the Wellcome Library. It was our duty to manage the unpacking and installation of items loaned by the Wellcome, and we were pleased that the objects arrived safely. Only one crate suffered minor damage; as a result, a Warhol print had dropped down in its frame and had to be rehinged and reframed. Stephania installed the largest books as well as a metal mannequin artifact that had been used as an anatomical teaching tool. This wrapped up our first busy day at work in the Mori.

Author: Gillian Boal

Ross Macfarlane

Ross Macfarlane is the Research Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library.

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