CLEVELAND, OHIO.- The Cleveland Museum of Art presents Prints and Paintings from Cleveland Collections,
Dec. 12, 2004, through Feb. 20, 2005. This is the Cleveland Museum of Art's first exhibition to survey the evolution of Japanese printmaking and related paintings over the last 300 years. The exhibition includes more than 120 works that feature Cleveland donors and collectors : Mr. and Mrs. Kelvin Smith, Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Verne and The Verne Collection, and Evelyn Svec and William E. Ward.
The exhibition presents exquisitely crafted color woodcuts and paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries in the ukiyo-e tradition (images of the floating world), depicting scenes of daily life and worldly pleasures. Inspired by the vibrant culture of the capital of Edo, (present-day Tokyo), portraits of courtesans, Kabuki actors and landscapes were favorite subjects. These prints were produced in workshops, made for a broad audience and sold for 20 mon, the price of a bowl of Soba noodles.
Although varied in approach, medium and style, modern Japanese prints retain an essential Japanese character. A respect for materials, frequently associated with Japanese artisans, is evident in the use of handmade papers and traditional tools.