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Displaying items by tag: woodblock prints

The first carved woodblock prints by Wharton Esherick, an artist who was a major figure in American crafts, have just been republished. They illustrated "Rhymes of Early Jungle Folk," a book of children's verse, published in 1922.

Pieces by Esherick, known for his expressive, modernist furniture and wood sculpture, are now collected by major museums around the world. But he started as a painter at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

Unfortunately, nobody wanted his paintings.

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Japanese prints were last shown as a group at the MFA during the 40th anniversary year in 2005, and the majority of the more than 40 works in this new exhibition are on view for the first time. One of the world’s great artistic traditions, Japanese prints are known for their technical accomplishment, superlative design, and sheer beauty.

"Images of the Floating World and Beyond: Japanese Woodblock Prints" extends from the late eighteenth century to an example from the twenty-first. The exhibition opens Saturday, May 9, and continues through Sunday, August 16. Director Emeritus Dr. John E. Schloder has curated the show with Stephanie Chill, M.A. He will introduce the works in a lecture on opening day at 3 p.m.

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A California couple has gifted the Minneapolis Institute of Arts a collection of Japanese Art worth $25 million. The gift is one of the largest in the museum’s history and includes around 1,700 objects such as paintings, sculptures, ceramics, woodblock prints, and bamboo baskets and spans more than 1,000 years. Together with a pending bequest of 500 Japanese objects from a New York-based collector, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts will become one of the most comprehensive venues for viewing Japanese Art.

The donors, Libby and Bill Clark, have been acquainted with the museum’s director, Kaywin Feldman, since the mid-1990s when she ran an art museum in Fresno, CA. The Clarks had set up a small museum and study center devoted to Japanese art at their home in central California. Bill Clark’s love of Japanese culture was sparked during tours of Japan while serving in the U.S. Navy. He began collecting seriously in the 1970s and launched the nonprofit Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in 1995. The Clarks often loaned works from their collection to art museums and helped organize traveling exhibitions. In addition to the Clarks’ gift, the MIA is purchasing other works from their collection using $5 million from a special endowment for art purchases.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has been devoted to showcasing Japanese Art since it opened in 1915. Currently, 15 galleries are devoted to its collection of 50,000 Japanese art objects. The exhibition, The Audacious Eye, will present a portion of the Clarks’ gift and will be on view from October 6, 2013 to January 12, 2014.

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