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Ms. Ruth Starr

BA, MA, Dip. Arts Admin.
Lecturer in History of Japanese art and architecture

Research interests

I am primarily an historian of Japanese art (including Japanese crafts) from the earliest times to the 20th century. My current research seeks to untangle the web of connections linking Japanese art and European art, following the common thread of lacquerware. My major interest is how these links were manifest in Ireland during the Japonisme movement of the late 19th Century, particularly the Japanese influence on Eileen Gray, (1878- 1976); also Japonisme in 19th and 20th century Ireland and lacquerware in Japan and Europe.


  • Eileen Gray, Influences extrêmes – orientales,  in Centre Pompidou, Paris, Eileen Gray, exhibition catalogue, ed. Chloé Pitot, 2013, pp 39 - 42
  • Seizo Sugawara, maître lacquer, in Centre Pompidou, Paris, Eileen Gray, exhibition catalogue, ed. Chloé Pitot 2013, pp 43.- 46
  • ‘Eileen Gray (1878- 1976), a child of Japonisme?’ ARTEfact (Journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians 2007) 84 -97.
  • ‘Emaki Innovation: The scroll as a medium for depicting time and motion’, Building Material (Journal of Architectural Association of Ireland, 2006), x + pp. 36.


Most of my teaching is on the Arts of Japan. I devised and instigated a non-western art course for second year History of Art Students. I have taught structured support sessions for extra-mural students complimenting these Art of Japan lectures. I also lecture in Japanese ceramics. I taught in the Board of Education, Matsue, Japan, for a number of years. I have been closely associated with the Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art, the primary Irish resource for Asian art; and I have been guest lecturer at major cultural institutions, including the National Museum of Ireland and National College of Art and Design.

Ms. Starr on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

History of Art Department
Trinity College
Dublin 2