Lecture – Hiroshige: Master of the Printed Landscape, July 27

Hiroshige Portrait by Toyokuni III

Portrait of Hiroshige by Utagawa Toyokuni, III

Nibei Foundation/Japan Study Club, July Lecture

July 27 (Tuesday), 6:30PM

Hiroshige: Master of the Printed Landscape

By Meher McArthur, freelance Asian art curator, author and educator

Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) is best known for his woodblock prints depicting spots of great beauty and interest throughout Japan. A painter and designer of considerable skill, he traveled around Japan documenting natural landscapes, travelers along Japan’s highways, and life in its towns and villages.

His many designs were translated into woodblock printed landscapes and were highly successful in his own day. His captivating choice of subject matter, his imaginative composition and his ability to capture the climate of the various locales have ensured that his landscape prints are still appreciated and collected internationally today.

This lecture will explore Hiroshige’s role in the development of woodblock printing in Japan and will use images from the Norton Simon Museum’s collection and the Visions of Japan exhibition to explain his enduring appeal and importance in the history of world art.

“Hiroshige: Vision of Japan” is currently on view at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. The exhibition will be running till January 17, 2011.

Hiroshige Sumida River Norton Simon

Hiroshige: Sumida River Embankment (Collection of the Norton Simon Museum)

Japan Study Club Program: July 27, 2010

Reception and dinner at 6:30 pm followed by presentation at 7:30 pm.

Admission including dinner: $10 per person.

Reservation required for seats and dinner.

RSVP by email japanstudies@nibei.org by Friday, July 23.


The program will be held at Terasaki Foundation Laboratory Building, 11570 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064.

About Meher McArthur

Meher McArthur was born in Mumbai (Bombay), India, grew up in Scotland, Canada and England. She studied Japanese at Cambridge University, lived two years in Oita prefecture, Japan, and subsequently earned her MA in Japanese art at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

In 1998, she moved to California and joined Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California as Curator of East Asian Art and curated several temporary Asian art exhibitions including Gods and Goblins: Japanese Folk Paintings from Otsu, (1999), Constructing the Cosmos in the Religious Arts of Asia (2001), Paintings, Prints, and Drawings by Hokusai (2001), The Nature of the Beast: Portrayals of Animals in Japanese Paintings (2001), Visions of Enlightenment: Understanding the Art of Buddhism (2002) and Kampai! The Arts of Japanese Sake (2004).

She also curated the museum’s permanent Chinese Ceramics Galleries (2000) and Gallery of Japanese Art (2006). As a guest curator, she curated Jade, Silk, Porcelain…: An Introduction to the Materials of Asian Art at Pacific Asia Museum (2007), The Religious Arts of Japan (2007), Lotus Moon: The Arts of Otagaki Rengetsu (2008), Confucius: Shaping Values Through Art (2008-9), and Japan in Blue and White (March 2010-March 2011).

Her publications include Gods and Goblins: Japanese Folk Paintings from Otsu, (Pacific Asia Museum, 1999), Reading Buddhist Art: An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs and Symbols (Thames & Hudson, 2002) and The Arts of Asia: Materials, Techniques, Styles (Thames & Hudson, 2005), Confucius: A Biography (Quercus, London, 2010), and the children’s art books, Michael and the Magical Museum (Pacific Asia Museum, 2003) and An ABC of What Art Can Be (The Getty Museum, 2010).

She is currently working as a freelance Asian art curator, author and educator, collaborating with various museums, and is Consulting Curator for Japanese Art at Pacific Asia Museum.

She is currently planning several books and exhibitions on different aspects of Japanese and Asian art, including the tradition of origami.