Gifts from Japan
March 24, 2015 — July 26, 2015
Landscape Woodblocks in the Shin-Hanga Style
In the first half of the 20th century, artists of the Shin-Hanga (“new prints”) movement revived the tradition of Japanese woodblock printmaking. Their colorful works combine classic Ukiyo-e print subjects, such as landscapes and temples, with western compositional concepts such as heightened perspective and shading.
In 1961 a Japanese delegation from Norfolk’s sister city of Moji, now called Kitakyushu, presented the Museum with 16 exquisite Shin-Hanga prints, many by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), the master of the field.
On view for the first time since their donation, these prints offer a vivid window into the history, beauty, and magic of Japan.
Perhaps because Japanese prints are not marked as ordinals, as is standard practice with Western prints, sometime over the decades these prints were mistakenly filed away as reproductions instead of originals.
They were rediscovered by Alex Mann, Brock Curator of American Art, during routine collection research conducted while the Museum was closed for renovations. After their October 2014 rediscovery, plans began almost immediately to get the prints on view. Mann described the works as “mesmerizing.”
Gifts from Japan: Landscape Woodblocks in the Shin-Hanga Style ran March 24 / July 26.