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Few non-Japanese can claim to have exerted a major influence on the machinations of the domestic Japanese art scene. David Elliott, the Briton who served as the founding director of the Mori Art Museum, from 2001 until 2006, is one of them.

Art historian Yuji Yamashita credits Elliott’s decision to mix old and new art in the Mori’s opening exhibition, “Happiness,” as being one of the catalysts for a boom in historical art that continues to this day.

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