Japan exhibition opens

This weekend will see the return of Festival of Museums.

The innovative and exciting programme is designed to ignite imaginations and celebrate Scotland’s wealth of culture. The festival coincides with other Europe-wide celebrations of the many eclectic cultural experiences offered to visitors by museums and galleries.

Dumfries Museum is marking the event with the opening of a new special exhibition, Japan! and South West Scotland. This exhibition brings together prints, weaponry, scroll paintings, lacquer ware, ceramics and other fascinating Japanese material from the collections at Dumfries Museum with items kindly loaned by local people and institutions – including a samurai helmet and a stunning collection of boys’ kimonos.

Visitors will see both sides of Japanese culture, from striking warrior armour and tales of heroics to cute netsuke carvings and pretty lacquer boxes. This special exhibition is a rare chance to see both the beautiful and the disturbing, and to hear about the connections between Japan and Dumfries and Galloway.

Over the Festival of Museums weekend, May 18-20, there will be opportunities to find out more about Japanese culture, including a special exhibition preview on Friday evening, guided tours of the exhibition throughout the weekend by guest curator Louise Boyd, an evening of Bunraku puppetry on Saturday and, on Sunday, a gentle tea ceremony demonstration. Phone Dumfries Museum on 01387 253374 for further details or to book a place.

Later in the summer the museum will be hosting storytelling sessions for families and a series of lectures on a variety of topics, including the gardens of Japan, the enduring appeal of Japanese art and our contemporary interest in the kimono.

The exhibition runs from Saturday until Sunday, August 26. Dumfries Museum is open 10-5pm Monday to Saturday, 2-5pm Sunday. Admission is free.