Mary Redfern


Mary Redfern is a PhD candidate in the School of Art History and World Art Studies at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. Prior to commencing her doctoral studies, she worked as Assistant Curator for East Asian collections at the National Museum of Scotland (2009–2011) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (2008–2009). Redfern’s research addresses ceramic tableware made for the Meiji Emperor of Japan in the late nineteenth century. During this time, the role of Japan’s emperor underwent myriad transformations, and from the early 1870s the Meiji Emperor hosted banquets for visiting dignitaries and Japanese elites. Tableware was vital to these performances. Analysis of such imperial tableware and the trajectories that brought it to the emperor’s table reveals how material practice was employed to shape and articulate his sovereign identity.