Sunday, March 4, 2018

MEPPI Japan Lecture Series - A City of Consumption: The Woodblock Print Industry in Edo Japan, March 29 at Carnegie Museum of Art.


Nihonbashi (日本橋)

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania will present its next event in the MEPPI Japan Lecture Series on March 29 to kick-off a new exhibition of Utagawa Hiroshige prints at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Dr. Brenda Jordan's talk, "A City of Consumption: The Woodblock Print Industry in Edo Japan," offers a preview of the theme and the collection:
The city of Edo (Tokyo) was the largest city in the world by 1800, and a city of commercial and artistic life. In this talk, Dr. Jordan will highlight one of the defining arts of this period in Japan—the industry of the colored woodblock print. Designed and produced by a collaborative process, and sold to people from all walks of life, nineteenth century Japanese prints provide a window into Edo urban culture—what people thought was important, what they liked to do, and where their interests lay. After the lecture, the Hiroshige exhibit will be open to the attendees. This event will serve as a kickoff event for the Hiroshige exhibit, which will be open from March 31 to July 8, 2018.

The lecture and reception are free and open to the public, though online RSVP is required. The lecture runs from 6:00 to 7:00, with a reception and exhibition preview to follow. The museum is located at 4400 Forbes Ave. in Oakland (map), accessible by buses 28X, 58, 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D, 67, 69, 71B, 71D, 75, and p3.

The collection of Utagawa Hiroshige's The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō (東海道五十三次) will be on display to the public from March 31 through June 8.
Master printmaker Utagawa (Andō) Hiroshige’s Fifty-three Stations of the Tôkaidô is among the most celebrated works of Japanese art. For the first time in 25 years, CMOA presents prints from our first Hōeidō edition; 55 in total, created between 1831 and 1834. The series depicts the spectacular landscapes and interesting characters encountered along the journey from Edo (now Tokyo) to the imperial capital Kyoto.

The Tokaido road was the most heavily-traveled route between these two important cities, figuring heavily into popular Japanese art and culture in the mid-1800s. Hiroshige made hundreds of images on the subject throughout his career.

Visitors can follow the progress of the journey along the gallery walls, moving from location to location. In a unique twist, visitors will see examples from Hiroshige’s other series on Tokaido—Reisho, Gyosho, Kichizo, and Aritaya editions—to illustrate the artist’s varied approach to the same subject and innovations of vantage point, perspective, and scale. The exhibition will also feature multiple impressions of the same Hōeidō print to demonstrate variations in the color woodblock printing process, stressing the uniqueness of each singular impression. Different representations of the same station will branch out from the main “path” of the Hōeidō set.