(336) 334-5770
weatherspoon@uncg.edu

VIEWING ROOM

Seven Masters: 20th-Century Japanese Woodblock Prints 

BACK TO EXHIBITION
  • Hashiguchi Goyō
    Japan, 1880–1921
    Woman Combing Her Hair, March 1920
    Woodblock print; ink and color on paper with mica
    Self-published. Carved by Koike Masazō. Printed by Somekawa Kanzō
    17 ⅜ x 12 ⅞ in.
    Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of Ellen and Fred Wells, 2002.161.3


    Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • Natori Shunsen
    Japan, 1886–1960
    The Actor Ichikawa Chūsha VII as Takechi Mitsuhide, 1926, from the series Creative Prints: Collected Portraits by Shunsen
    Woodblock print, ink and color on paper with mica and embossing
    Published by Watanabe Shōzaburō
    14 ⅞ x 10 ⅛ in.
    Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of Ellen and Fred Wells, 2002.161.60


    Ichikawa Chūsha VII (1860–1936) played Takechi Mitsuhide in The Picture Book of the Taikō (Ehon Taikō) at the Kabuki Theater in May 1919.

    The plot involves a conspiracy to overthrow the lord Oda Harunaga (the historical Oda Nobunaga), led by his subordinate Takechi (in real life, Akechi) Mitsuhide. Here, Mitsuhide appears disguised as a farmer, with a straw cloak and hat. He will mistake his mother for his enemy and accidentally kill her.

    Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Institute of Art

  • Itō Shinsui
    Japan, 1898–1972
    Woman Looking at a Mirror, July 1916
    Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
    Published by Watanabe Shōzaburō
    17 ½ x 11 7/16 in.
    Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of Ellen and Fred Wells, 2002.161.205


    This was Shinsui’s first collaboration with the publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō and is considered representative of all his prints. Intended for the foreign market, it originally had an English title, The Scarlet Lady. This hardly does justice to how skillfully the artist suggested inner reflection by focusing the woman’s gaze on a mirror outside the frame.

    Many years later, Shinsui’s contemporary, the ukiyo-e scholar Fujikake Shizuya, lauded this print for “outstanding composition,” “superior color distribution,” “beauty of color tone,” “lines that convey volume,” and the artist’s “care not to bring the painting line into prints.” Notable, too, are the deliberately made rubbing lines in the background, done with the corner of the rubbing pad (baren), which create textural tension against the large flat blocks of red and black.

    Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Institute of Art

  • Yamamura Kōka (Toyonari)
    Japan, 1886–1942
    The Actor Morita Kan’ya XIII as Jean Valjean, 1921, from an untitled actor series, sometimes called Flowers of the Theatrical World
    Woodblock print, ink and color on paper
    Published by Yamamura Kōka Hanga Kankōkai
    15 13/16 x 10 ¾ in.
    Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of Ellen and Fred Wells, 2002.161.53


    The play Les Misérables, based on Victor Hugo’s novel of 1862, was performed at the Yūraku Theater in December 1920 with Morita Kan’ya XIII (1885–1932) featured in the role of Jean Valjean. The first Japanese adaptation of Les Misérables dates from 1910.

    The ex-convict Jean Valjean, imprisoned for nineteen years after stealing a loaf of bread, assumes a new identity in order to pursue an honest life. He becomes rich and successful but then contends with much adversity before dying in peace.

    Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Institute of Art

  • Torii Kotondo
    Japan, 1900–1976
    Sash, November 1929
    Woodblock print, ink and color on paper with mica
    Published by Kawaguchi
    16 3/16 x 10 5/16 in.
    Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of Ellen and Fred Wells, 2002.161.141


    This is the first of three beauties by Kotondo that was published by Kawaguchi Jirō only after the collaboration with Sakai Shōkichi ended. According to the stamp on the back of every impression, an edition of 350 was planned and each impression received an individual, hand-written number. However, judging by the numbers found, it seems that not more than 100 were produced. First a “blue” version with blue kimono and purple sash against bluish background, then a “brown” version with brown kimono and red sash against yellowish background.

    © Torii Kotondo; photo courtesy of Minneapolis Institute of Art

  • Kawase Hasui
    Japan, 1883–1957
    Benten Pond at Shiba, August 1929
    Woodblock print, ink and color on paper
    Published by Kawaguchi Jirō. Carved by Maeda Kentarō. Printed by Komatsu Wasankichi
    9 7/16 x 14 5/16 in.
    Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of Paul Schweitzer, P.77.28.15


    Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Institute of Art


  • Yamakawa Shūhō
    Japan, 1898–1944
    Autumn, 1927, from the series Women in Four Settings
    Woodblock print, ink and color on paper
    Published by Bijutsusha
    14 3/16 x 9 ½ in.
    Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of Ellen and Fred Wells, 2002.161.120


    Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Institute of Art


Free Admission + Free Parking

TEMPORARY HOURS:
Tue-Wed-Fri-Sat: 10am-5pm
Thu: 10am-8pm
Closed Sundays, Mondays + holidays

Weatherspoon Art Museum
UNC Greensboro
500 Tate Street
Greensboro, NC 27402
CONTACT US
weatherspoon@uncg.edu
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram