© Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie
   |   25.04.2019

International Conference „Nanban. Far East. Close Art”, 4–5 October 2019 | information and CFP

Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów, Warsaw, Poland
4–5 October 2019

The International Conference is crowning “The Collaborative Project of Conservation of the Nanban Table from the Collection of Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów” co-financed by the grant from the Sumitomo Foundation. The Nanban table from the Wilanów collection, made around 1610, is an object of unique artistic quality, among the finest and most important surviving examples of Nanban style in the world collections. It owes its shape to late Renaissance Portuguese furniture and its technology and decorative motifs – to the Japanese lacquerware (urushi) and Oriental tradition.

Nanban, literally the art of the “southern barbarians”, denotes Japanese work of decorative art, using urushi lacquer and reflecting a strong impact of European art and tradition. Produced between 1540s and 1630s, they were mostly intended for export to Europe and their characteristic feature is an extraordinary combination of Eastern and Western qualities. Japanese foreign trade of this period was dominated by Portuguese merchants; hence, numerous Nanban-type artefacts disclose strong inspiration and references to Portuguese products.

Ten years have passed since Victoria and Albert Museum’s big project of conservation of Mazarin Chest. Preservation and conservation of Oriental lacquerware was and still is a challenge for specialists all over the world. Ending of the second such a broad project in Europe – conservation of the Nanban table from Wilanów collection – is a great occasion to deepen reflection and discuss aesthetical and ethical approach, applied methods and materials in conservation of urushi lacquer.


CFP for poster session

Deadline for submitting proposals of posters: 20.08.2019
How to submit:
fill in the admission form and send to: nanban[at]museum-wilanow.pl
We will inform you about accepting your proposal by 30.08.2019

Suggested poster session topics
The poster session will focus on current state of knowledge about Japanese lacquer. Topics may include:

Art-historical studies:

  • trade routes 
  • production areas and workshops
  • artistic values-decoration motifs

Japanese lacquer in a broad sense:

  • export lacquer ordered by the European merchants 
  • produced for local market but currently in the Western collections
  • mixed furniture – produced in the West incorporating urushi panels in its construction 

Preservation and conservation:

  • case studies
  • technological studies
  • Japanese methods versus Western methods – ethical and conservational issues

Scientific research and documentation:

  • identification of urushi 
  • analytical and scientific research methods



The symposium will be attended by distinguished guests, authorities in the field of lacquerware: Prof. Dr. Monika Kopplin (Munster, Germany), Dr Masako Shono-Sladek (Cologne, Germany) and and urushi conservator Shigeru Kitamura (Nara, Japan). Museum staff and associates will present details of the Nanban Table Conservation Project. Other participants of the seminar will be able to present their research and conservation projects during the poster session. We invite you to share your experience with us. 

Conference language: English

Now registration is open. To register fill in the admission form and send to email address: nanban[at]museum-wilanow.pl

Venue: The conference will be held in Villa Intrata (a manor house located in the forefield of the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at in Wilanów), Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 23, Warsaw

Conference curator:
Anna Guzowska
email: aguzowska[at]museum-wilanow.pl

The conference „Nanban. Far East. Close Art” is one of the events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and Japan in 2019.

Logo of the 100th anniversary of Polish-Japanese diplomatic relations