Dr Louise Boyd is the Assistant Curator for Japan. Her post is funded by the Japan Foundation.

Louise BoydLouise Boyd gained an MA (hons) in History of Art from the University of Glasgow and a Masters in History of Japanese Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.  In 2012-13, she spent 6 month at The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute in Kansai as part of the Japanese-Language Program for Specialists in Cultural and Academic Fields. She completed her doctorate at the University of Glasgow in 2016, with a thesis entitled ‘Art, Sex, and Institutions: Defining, Collecting, and Displaying  Shunga’, which examined the history and reception of shunga (sexually explicit Japanese art) with a particular focus on how it was engaged with by public institutions, private collectors and modern visitors.

For the Festival of Museums in 2012, she curated an exhibition showcasing Japanese objects in Dumfries Museum’s collection and exploring the links between Japan and South West Scotland. An online version of the exhibition can be viewed on the Future Museum website. She has also worked at the British Museum digitising Japanese ehon (woodblock-printed books) with Ritsumeikan University, and at the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, as the Johnstone Curatorial Assistant. She joined National Museums Scotland in 2017 and is helping with preparations for the new East Asia Gallery as well as other on-going projects.

Louise’s main interest is Edo-period art and culture especially ukiyo-e and Kitagawa Utamaro, but other interests include the work of female artists, the history of collecting and collections, and issues relating to gender and sexuality.


  • ‘Sex, Art, and Museums: On the Changing Institutional Censorship of Shunga’ in Roisin Kennedy and Riann Coulter (eds.) - Art and Censorship: Silencing the Artwork (I. B. Taurus, forthcoming)
  • Shunga: sexually explicit Japanese art’ in Studio 3 Gallery (ed.) - Beautifully Obscene: The History of the Erotic Print (Canterbury: University of Kent, 2015)
  • ‘Review of Shunga: Erotic Art in Japan’ in The Kelvingrove Review, issue 9, April 2012

Conference papers

  • European Association of Japanese Studies conference, University of Ljubljana, August 2014
  • Association of Art Historians Conference, Royal College of Art, London, April 2014
  • Shunga and Philosophy Colloquium, British Museum, London, December 2013
  • Erotica, Pornography and the Obscene conference, University of Warwick, April 2013

 Japan Foundation

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