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A member of the Japanese Imperial family will demonstrate her knowledge of art history Sunday at The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford.

Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko of Mikasa, 26, will give a lecture on "Collecting 'Japan' — Nineteenth Century to the Present," at 2 p.m. Sunday. The event is open to the public.

Princess Akiko, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oxford in England, has been at The Clark Center since January, doing research for her thesis, "Western Interest in Japanese Art in the Late 19th Century." Her focus is on a Japanese art collection by a British collector in the British Museum in London.

While in Hanford, she has been studying the private collection of Bill Clark, founder of The Clark Center. She hopes by studying his collection she can get an idea how present-day American art collectors differ from British collectors of the past.

She said Clark's collection is different from any other she's seen.

"Many Japanese art historians follow a prototype of Japanese art history," said Princess Akiko. "But Bill Clark collects whatever he likes and doesn't follow any conventions. He was able to gather works by many unknown artists, which is a great resource for Japanese art historians."

The princess will talk more about her research during the lecture this Sunday. Following the lecture, she will return to England to resume her studies.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427.

(April 11, 2008)

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