History of the collection
The collections of the Chester Beatty include more than 800 Japanese woodblock prints and 100 woodblock printed books. Sir Alfred Chester Beatty began collecting Japanese prints in earnest in 1954 when he purchased the collection of the late Herbert Francis Thomas Cooper (1874–1944), an architect for London County Council. Over the next decade, this collection was developed and refined under the guidance of print specialist Jack Hillier (1912–95). Scouring the auction rooms of London and Paris, Hillier selected exquisite prints and books by Edo’s leading artists with provenances extending to some of Europe’s best-known collectors.
Installation of An Exhibition of Japanese Prints from the Collection of Sir Chester Beatty
Held 10-29 May 1955 at Regent House, Trinity College, Dublin