The Yatsuhashi Harumichi Family Papers (1906-1976) document the professional and personal lives of a Japanese-American family in Boston during the twentieth century. The patriarch, Yatsuhashi Harumichi (1886-1982), was an influential Asian art dealer and the papers also document the professional experiences of Asian art dealers in the United States during the early and mid 20th century. Mr. Yatsuhashi worked at the antiquities firm of Yamanaka & Company before starting his own Asian antiquities shop in 1945. Included in the papers, portions in Japanese, are correspondence; catalogues relating to the Alien Property Custodian's 1944 liquidation of Yamanaka & Company's New York branch's holdings; photographs depicting art objects and shop interiors, the Yatsuhashi family, Yamanaka & Company, and extended family, friends, and colleagues; and items belonging to Mr. Yatsuhashi's wife, Shigeki, and some of their children.
Scope and Contents:
The Yatsuhashi Harumichi Family Papers (1906-1976) document the professional and personal lives of a Japanese-American family in Boston during the twentieth century. The patriarch, Yatsuhashi Harumichi (1886-1982), was an influential Asian art dealer and the papers also document the professional experiences of Asian art dealers in the United States during the early and mid 20th century. Mr. Yatsuhashi worked at the antiquities firm of Yamanaka & Company before starting his own Asian antiquities shop in 1945. Included in the papers, portions in Japanese, are correspondence; catalogues relating to the Alien Property Custodian's 1944 liquidation of Yamanaka & Company's New York branch's holdings; photographs depicting art objects and shop interiors, the Yatsuhashi family; Yamanaka & Company, and extended family, friends, and colleagues; and items belonging to Mr. Yatsuhashi's wife, Shigeki, and some of their children.
The collection has been organized into four series.
Series 1: Yatsuhashi Harumichi papers, 1912-1965, undated
Series 2: Business Correspondence, Boston Art and Book Shop, 1960s
Series 3: Other family members, 1937, 1966, undated
— Subseries 3.1: Yatsuhashi Shigeki
— Subseries 3.2: Yatsuhashi S.
— Subseries 3.3: Yatsuhashi Masao
— Subseries 3.4: Yatsuhashi Sumiko
Series 4: Photographs, 1907-1976, undated
— Subseries 4.1:Still prints and portraits
— Subseries 4.2: Photo albums
Asian art dealer and merchant Yatsuhashi Harumichi (1886- 1982) was born in Tano, Japan, on December 15, 1886. Upon completion of his studies in Osaka, Mr. Yatsuhashi secured employment in the Osaka office of the prestigious Asian antiquities firm, Yamanaka & Company. (For more information about Yamanaka & Company, please see: Lawton, T. (1995). Yamanaka Sadajiro: Advocate for Asian art. Orientations, 26 (1), 80-93.) In 1907 he joined Yamanka & Company's branch office in Boston, Massachusetts, as its general manager and treasurer of the company's Asian division. Located at 424 Boylston Street, the store was a center for Chinese art, as well as for Japanese assorted goods.
In 1913 Yatsuhashi married Shigeki. They produced two sons (Michio and Masao) and two daughters (Sumiko and Kukiye). (Harumichi Yatsuhashi, Oriental art authority and Brookline resident. (1982 December 3). The Boston Globe, obituaries.)
Following the United States' entrance into World War II, the Alien Property Custodian seized the Yamanaka shops in New York, Boston, and Chicago. The holdings were sold at auction in May and June, 1944. In 1945, Yatsuhashi Harumichi and his son Michio opened their own Asian art dealership at 420 Boylston Street in Boston.
Yatsuhashi Harumichi fostered exchange between his native and adopted homeland. He was a member and officer (president in 1931) of the Japan Society of Boston since 1921, an avid supporter of the Boston Marathon, and a founder of the Boston-Kyoto Sister City Foundation. (Boston Globe, 1982 December 4. )
Michio Yatsuhashi, who helped his father open the Yatsuhashi antique shop, died prematurely as a result of cancer in 1981. One year later, Mr. Yatsuhashi died in Boston at the age of 96. He was survived by his daughters, Sumiko and Kikuye and one son, Masao.
1886 December 15 -- Yatsuhashi Harumichi born in Japan
1905 -- Yatsuhashi Harumichi graduates college in Osaka, Japan
1905 -- Yatsuhashi Harumichi joins the antiquities firm of Yamanaka & Co.
1907 -- Yatsuhashi Harumichi joins the Boston branch of Yamanaka & Co.
1913 -- Yatsuhashi Harumichi and Shigeki marry
[ca. 1918 - 1919] -- Masao Yatsuhashi (son) born
1944 -- Yamanaka & Company New York, Boston, and Chicago shops are seized by the Alien Property Custodian and its holdings are sold at auction
1945 -- Yatsuhashi Harumichi and son Michio open an Asian antiquities shop in Boston
1961 -- Yatsuhashi Shigeki dies
1981 -- Michio Yatsuhashi dies
1982 December 1 -- Yatsuhashi Harumichi dies at Massachusetts General Hospital at the age of 96
The Yatsuhashi Harumichi Family Papers were donated to the Archives by James Arthur Marinaccio in 1994. 2022 addition was purchased by the Archives.
Writer, curator, and professor Benjamin Franklin March Jr. (1899-1934) studied, lectured, and wrote in the United States and in China, and through his works gained respect as one of the foremost authorities on Chinese art during the 1920s and 1930s. His papers, dating from 1923 to 1934, document his professional and personal life in the United States and in China and include lecture notes and outlines; research notes; diaries; scrapbooks; and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The Benjamin March Papers span the years 1923 to 1934 and measure 15 linear feet. The collection includes: biographical data included in passports, obituaries, and fifty-seven condolence letters; lecture and course outlines; research notes; four diaries; one scrapbook; four illustrations including sketches for the March bookplate; fourteen photograph albums; printed matter; and 100 personal and artistic photographs.
The collection is divided into the following series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1927-1935
Series 2: Diaries, 1925-1934
Series 3: Writings and Research Materials, 1927-1934, undated
— Subseries 3.1: Lecture Materials
— Subseries 3.2: Research
— Subseries 3.3: Printed Matter
Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1924-1934
Series 5: Graphic Materials, 1925, 1933, undated
— Subseries 5.1: Illustrations
— Subseries 5.2: Photo Albums
— Subseries 5.3: Photographs
1899 -- Born, Chicago, IL. Son of Benjamin Franklin and Isabel (née McNeal)
[1917?] -- Attended Lewis Institute and the YMCA College before transferring to the University of Chicago
1918-1919 -- Military service, Sergeant, Field Remount Squadron, No. 305, Army Service Corps
1922 -- Graduated from the University of Chicago (Ph.B)
1922-1923 -- Attended the Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY
1923-1925 -- Teacher of English, Latin, and Bible Studies at Hopei University; the Second Normal School; and the YMCA in Paotingfu, China
1925 June 25 -- Married Dorothy Rowe in Nanking, China
1925-1927 -- English instructor; Librarian; and Lecturer in Chinese Art, Yenching University Peiping, China
1927, summer -- Lecturer on Chinese art Columbia University
1927-1931 -- Curator of Asiatic Art Detroit Institute of Arts
1928 -- Honorary Curator of Oriental Aesthetic Art at the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1928 -- Appointed honorary curator at the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
[1929?] -- Daughter (Judith) born
1929 -- China and Japan in Our Museums, published by the American Council, Institute of Pacific Relations
1931 -- Spent six months in China under a special grant from the American Council of Learned Societies to study 13th century painter, Ch'ien Hsuan
1932 -- Curator, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1932 -- Appointed honorary curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts
1933 -- Awarded a Freer Fellowship
1934 -- Standards of Pottery Description, published by the University of Michigan Press
1934, summer -- Organized, directed, and lectured at a summer session of the Institute of Asiatic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley
1934 December -- Died at home in Ann Arbor, Michigan after a five-week illness (heart ailment)
Far Eastern art writer, curator, and lecturer, Benjamin Franklin March Jr., was born in Chicago on July 4, 1899 to Benjamin and Isabel March. He studied, lectured, and wrote in the United States and China and through his works gained respect as one of the foremost authorities on Chinese art during the 1920s and 1930s. Although he lived only thirty-five years, Benjamin March was a respected and influential scholar of Asian art.
After high school, March attended the Lewis Institute and the YMCA College before transferring to the University of Chicago from which he graduated in 1922 (Ph.B). With thoughts of becoming a Methodist minister, March enrolled at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. At the same time, March enrolled in art classes at the Metropolitan Museum. After one year at the seminary, March was presented with and accepted the opportunity to work in China. From 1923 to 1927, March resided in China where he taught and lectured at colleges. Initially, March taught English, Latin, and Bible Studies at Hopei University, the Second Normal School, and the YMCA. From 1925 to 1927, he worked at Yenching University in Peiping (now Peking) as an instructor in English, a librarian, and lecturer in Chinese art.
While in China, March met Dorothy Rowe, the daughter of a Methodist missionary stationed in Nanking. On June 25, 1925 the two were married. Ms. Rowe, whom March sometimes called Doré, had lived in China since infancy. The author of the children's story, "The Begging Dear," Rowe wrote children's stories with Chinese settings.
During the summer of 1927, the March's moved to the United States when Columbia University offered March an appointment as lecturer of Chinese Art. Later that year March was appointed curator of Asiatic art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He remained at the Detroit Institute of Arts in this capacity until 1931. In 1928, March was appointed Honorary Curator of Oriental Aesthetic Art by the University of Michigan's Museum of Anthropology. The next year, Dorothy March gave birth to the couple's only child, Judith.
During this period March published extensively, including two publications, China and Japan in Our Museums, in 1929 and, Standards of Pottery Description, in 1934. In the latter, March developed a new technique for the scientific study of the materials and methods of manufacture of ancient Chinese pottery. ( Ann Arbor Daily News. -- "Death Takes Noted Curator". -- December 14, 1934)
In 1931, March received a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies. This grant allowed March the opportunity to travel to China and Europe to study the 13th century painter, Ch'ien Hsuan. In 1932, March was named a curator at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. The following year he was named a Freer Fellow. The summer of 1934 found March in Berkeley, California, organizing and directing the Institute of Asiatic Studies at the University of California. During the fall of 1934, March fell ill with a heart ailment. He was ill for five weeks before he died, at the age of 35, in December of 1934. At the time of his death, Benjamin March was survived by his wife Dorothy and their daughter, Judith.
The Detroit Institute of Arts maintains administrative correspondence and files generated by Benjamin March during his tenure as curator.
The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan houses the Benjamin Franklin March drawings collection, This is a collection of drawings by March for his daughter; includes illustrated poems of Pentwater Beach, Michigan.
Judith March Davis, the daughter of Benjamin March, donated her father's papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1995.
Benjamin March's daughter, Judith March Davis, donated her father's papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1995.
182 Items (typed unbound pages with solid wood covers)
Box 1, Folder 9
China -- Description and Travel
Scope and Contents note:
Binding removed, 9 ½" x 6". 182 pages. First entry, 30 June 1925. Last entry, 13 March 1926. Inscribed, "The Memoirs of MA". Wood cover. In the introduction, March wrote, "Chronicles of Benjamin" had, for three years, served as a journal, notebook, and record for himself of places he visited. Said that since he's now not alone that it is fitting to rename his notes, "Memoirs of MA." (Chinese name of his family). ["Chronicles of Benjamin" may be found in Series V, subseries B, photo albums.]
Scope and Contents:
A diary typed by the young Chinese art scholar Benjamin March from June 1925 to March 1926 describing his life in China. Events include March's marriage to the author Dorothy Rowe (1898-1969) in Nanjing, their honeymoon in Hangzhou and Suzhou, and their subsequent life in Beijing. March describes hikes through scenic areas in Hangzhou and Beijing; his acquaintance with scholars such as John Calvin Ferguson and Alan Priest; attending performances by Ruth St. Denis and Mei Lanfang, and his work at Yenching University.
The Memoirs of Ma
Biographical / Historical:
East Asian art historian, curator and lecturer, Benjamin Franklin March Jr., was born in Chicago on July 4, 1899 to Benjamin and Isabel March. He studied, lectured, and wrote in the United States and China and through his works gained respect as one of the foremost authorities on Chinese art during the 1920s and 1930s. March was East Asian art lecturer at the University of Michigan, and curator of Asian art at the Detroit Institute of Art. Although he lived only thirty-five years, Benjamin March was a respected and influential scholar of Asian art.
2 Linear feet (150 Prints: album (black and white)
1 writing tablet: catalog Dimensions 39 x 27 cm.)
Box 5, Folder 5
Scope and Contents:
One album, measuring 39 x 31 cm., of approximately 150 black and white photographs of the Chinese art collection of Seaouke Yue [You Xiaoqi], which included paintings, porcelain and works in bronze. The prints are pasted into the album and identified by typed identification slips, also pasted into the album. A paper label on the front cover reads "Photos of Chinese Arts Seaouke Yue Collection". A one-volume descriptive catalog accompanies the photo album. The catalog (39 x 27 cm.) consists of 50 tipped-in leaves, with typescript descriptions of each art work pasted onto the leaves. The descriptions have been annotated in pencil. A paper label has been pasted to the front cover and bears the typed title "Description of antique Chinese paintings and brass wares as well as of porcelains of different ages", with the author's name and "Photo list #298" printed underneath in black ink.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Charles Lang Freer Papers. FSA.A.01. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Gift of the estate of Charles Lang Freer.
One journal-style volume, quarter-bound black pebble-grained cloth with brown marbled paper boards. Approximately 200 pages, mostly filled with handwritten notes. Paper onlay on the front cover bears the handwritten inscription "Notes taken before Mr. Freer's collection in Detroit -- some amount is [?] -- mostly [?] lantern slides." Inside front cover has the bookplate of Ernest K. Fenollosa; the bookplate also bears the ink signature "Mary McNeil Fenollosa (Sidney McCall)" and the ink stamp of the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Loosely inserted at the beginning of the journal is an undated receipt for the purchase of several items from the Walpole Galleries in New York City.
The first part of the journal, dated November 1907, contains approximately 104 pages of notes, presumably written in Fenollosa's hand. On the back cover, another paper slip bears the inscription "This end of the note book to be used for a list of Illustrations from Stokes' prints to be sent Mr. Heinemann -- begun March 16th 1911." From this point, a new set of notes begins, written after Fenollosa's death and consisting of approximately 34 pages.
Notes taken before Mr. Freer's collection in Detroit
Organized in one flat box.
Biographical / Historical:
Ernest Francisco Fenollosa (1853-1908) was a poet and student of Asian art. Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Fenollosa studied at Harvard, Cambridge University and the art school at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts before traveling to Japan to teach political economy and philosophy at the Imperial University at Tokyo. In 1988, he helped establish the Tokyo Fine Arts Academy and the Imperial Museum, serving as its director. For his many efforts to preserve temples and shrines and their art work, the Emperor of Japan decorated him with the orders of the Rising Sun and the Sacred Mirror. In 1890 Fenollosa returned to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to take the position of curator of the department of Oriental arts. However, his public divorce and immediate remarriage in 1895 to the writer Mary McNeill Scott (1865-1954) led to his dismissal from the Museum in 1896 and he returned to Japan to teach English literature at the Tokyo Higher Normal School. He returned to the United States in 1900 to write and lecture on Asia. His works include East and West: The Discovery of America and Other Poems (1893); Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art (2d ed. 1912), compiled by his widow, Mary McNeil Fenollosa; and two works on Japanese drama (ed. by Ezra Pound, 1916).
FSA A.01 04.02
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.