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).
Gift of Charles Lang Freer.
Organized in one flat box
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.
Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, 1050 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20013-7012