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Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

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Japanese woodblock prints on view at Art Museum, through Sept. 1

A small but remarkable group of Japanese woodblock prints, selected from gifts of Anne van Biema, are on view from May 10 through Sept. 1 at the University Art Museum .

The 16 prints are organized to show the development of woodblock printing techniques, pigments, and styles from the mid-18th to the 19th centuries. While the earliest woodblock prints use only black ink, by the mid-18th century color pigments began to be applied to single-sheet prints, known as brocade pictures (nishiki-e) . The earliest of these pictures were private calendars printed without authority, first produced by Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770), whose print "The Kxya Jewel River," ca. 1765, is included in the exhibition.

From about the mid-1760s, these color prints were marketed commercially and depicted classical and contemporary themes, including scenes from literature or the lives of famous personages, beautiful women, travelogues, daily and erotic activities, and actors in various dramatic roles.

Among the 19th-century printmakers represented in the exhibition are Utagawa Toyokuni I (1769-1825), Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865), and Andx Hiroshige (1797-1858).

About the print shown: Suzuki Harunobu, Japanese, Edo period,1725-1770, "The Kxya Jewel River (Kxya no Tamagawa)," ca. 1765, ChKban format woodblock print, ink and color on paper, 27.7 x 20.5 cm. Gift of Anne van Biema.

Read the full news release .

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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