Japan & Liberty: In Conversation with Liberty Archivist Anna Buruma

Liberty archivist Anna Buruma online talk at Japan House London

Discover how London’s iconic department store and design institution Liberty has been historically shaped by its long-standing respect and passion for Japanese design in an online talk broadcast live from Japan House London.

In conversation with Japan House’s Programming Director Simon Wright, Liberty’s Head Archivist Anna Buruma will draw from Liberty’s rich archival collections to explore the historical and cultural connections between Japan and Liberty. These links stretch back to 1889 when founder Arthur Liberty and his wife Emma took a trip to Japan that deepened their admiration for the country’s craftsmanship and creative heritage. A pictorial record of the trip kept by Emma Liberty, an avid photographer, was made into a leather-bound journal that remains in the archive today.

This event is the first in a two-part series held in partnership with Liberty coinciding with the release of the new Liberty Fabrics collection From Japan with Love. The fabric collection was created as a result of a collaboration between the Liberty design team and eight contemporary Japanese artists working within a wide range of graphics, textiles and fine art mediums to showcase the broad diversity of Japanese design.

On 29 July 2021, Japan House and Liberty present the second event in this series: an online talk and studio visit featuring textile designer Himuro Yuri who has contributed designs to the collection.

Selected items from the Liberty Fabrics collection From Japan with Love are available for purchase in The Shop at Japan House London from 21 July 2021.

About the Speaker

Anna Buruma
trained as a theatre designer and has worked in the theatre and as a costume designer in television and film. During the 1990s she graduated with MA in an art history from the Courtauld Institute, specializing in the History of Dress. Since then Anna has been the archivist at Liberty as well as a curator for the Central Saint Martins Museum & Study Collection. She has published various articles on dress and a book on historical costume, including Liberty & Co. in the Fifties and Sixties: a Taste for Design (Antique Collectors Club 2009, reprinted in 2015).