When: March 23 - May 13, 2007
About the ShowYoshu Chikanobu (1838-1912) was a leading artist in the Meiji period, the era from 1868 to 1912 when Japan underwent rapid westernization and the emperor was reinstated as ruler. Like many other print artists of these years, Chikanobu worked with subjects of traditional Japanese woodblock prints, such as actors, courtesans, famous sites, and beautiful women, while often reflecting western conventions in art and picturing current events, such as the Saigo Rebellion and various battles of the Sino-Japanese War. A student of Kunichika, who had specialized in actor prints, Chikanobu used the flat planes and decorative patterning of the ukiyo-e tradition to striking effect, placing brilliant colors, especially reds, purples, and blues, in frequently grand, jolting combinations and often clothing his figures in western dress. The aniline dyes imported during this period made this transition to bold colors possible.
The exhibition is centered upon several areas of interest, including early works, kabuki theater, current events and modernization, traditional views, famous sites and festivals, virtuous conduct, famous warriors and the Sino-Japanese War, and beautiful women. The display comprises about sixty woodblock prints, including individual sheets, numerous triptychs, and several series, from the collection of Scripps College in Claremont, California, and is accompanied by an extensive catalogue. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this traveling exhibition is organized by professor Bruce Coats of Scripps College in conjunction with colleagues at several liberal arts colleges in the U.S. and is coordinated at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center by Patricia Phagan, curator of prints and drawings.