Richard Douglas Lane

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Richard Lane (1926–2002) was an American scholar, author, collector, and dealer of Japanese art. He lived in Japan for much of his life, and had a long association with the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii, which now holds his vast art collection.


Lane was born in Kissimmee, Florida. After graduating from high school in 1944, during World War II, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. In the Marines he trained as a Japanese translator, and served in Japan during the war. He later received a bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii in Japanese and Chinese literature, and continued his studies at Columbia University, where he earned a master's degree and a Ph.D in 18th-century Japanese literature. In 1957, he moved to Japan, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Lane was never on a university faculty, but supported himself as an author, dealer and consultant. He was a visiting research associate at the Honolulu Museum of Art from 1957 to 1971, during which time he helped catalog the James A. Michener collection of Japanese prints.[1] In 1960 he married physician Chiyeko Okawa; they remained married until her death in 1999.[2] In 2002, he died intestate and without heirs in Kyoto, Japan, and the Honolulu Museum of Art purchased his collection from the Japanese judicial authorities. The Lane Collection consisted of nearly 20,000 paintings, prints and books.[3]

From October 2008 to February 2009, the Honolulu Museum of Art exhibited a sampling of the collection under the title "Richard Lane and the Floating World". From March 2010 to June 2010, the Museum exhibited a second installment of the collection under the title "Masterpieces from the Richard Lane Collection".

Among the works in the Richard Lane collection are over 800 works of Japanese shunga (erotica). From November 2012 to March 2013, the Honolulu Museum of Art held the exhibition "Arts of the Bedchamber: Japanese Shunga," which included over 50 erotic paintings, prints, and woodblock-printed books from the Lane Collection.


Richard Lane's publications include:

  • Lane, Richard, Erotica Japonica: Masterworks of Shunga Painting, New York, Japan Publications, 1986. ISBN 0-87040-665-5
  • Lane, Richard, Hokusai, Life and Work, New York, Dutton, 1989. ISBN 0-525-24455-7
  • Lane, Richard, Images from the Floating World: The Japanese Print, Including an Illustrated Dictionary of Ukiyo-e, New York, Putnam, 1978. ISBN 0-399-12193-5
  • Lane, Richard, Japanische Holzschnitte, München Zürich, Droemersche, 1964.
  • Lane, Richard, L'Estampe Japonaise, Paris, Aimery Somogy, 1962.
  • Lane, Richard, Masterpieces of Japanese Prints: The European Collections Ukiyo-e from the Victoria and Albert Museum, New York, Kodansha America Inc, 1991. ISBN 978-4-7700-1613-3
  • Lane, Richard, Masters of the Japanese Print, Their World and Their Work (The Arts of Man series), Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1962.
  • Lane, Richard, Shinpen Shoki Hanga: Makurae (Shunga: The Ukiyo-e Primitives), Tokyo, Gakken, 1995. ISBN 4-05-500146-0
  • Lane, Richard, Teihon Ukiyo-e Shunga Meihin Shusei (The Complete Ukiyo-e Shunga), Tokyo, Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 27 volumes published between 1995 and 2000.
  • Lane, Richard, Ukiyo-e Holschnitte. Künstler und Werke, Zürich, 1978.
  • Lane, Richard Douglas, Hokusai to Hiroshige, Köln, Galerie Eike Moog, 1977.
  • Michener, James A. with notes on the prints by Richard Lane, Japanese Prints, From the Early Masters to the Modern, Rutland, Vermont, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1959.


  1. ^ Boehm, 2009, p. 29
  2. ^ Boehm, 2009, p. 31
  3. ^ Calendar News, 2008, p. 6


  • Deborah Boehm, with photos by Charles Emmett Freeman (August–September 2009). "Bonanza!". Hana Hou! (Vol.12, No. 4, pp. 27–33).
  • Honolulu Academy of Arts, “Delving into the Richard Lane Collection”, Calendar News, Honolulu Academy of Arts, November/December, 2008, 6–7.
  • Johnson, Scott, “The Young Scholar Dick Lane and One of His First Loves”, Orientations, Volume 37, Number 6, September 2006.
  • Little, Stephen, “The Richard Lane Collection”, Orientations, Volume 36, Number 2, March, 2005.