Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The 28th Annual Michele and Peter Berton Memorial Lecture on Japanese Art
Sunday, December 6, 3:30 pm
Free and open to the public, no reservations required
Andreas Marks, Head of the Japanese and Korean Art Department and Director of the Clark Center at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, presents “More Than Just a Moment of Success: Utagawa Kunisada, Japan’s Most Prolific Print Designer.”
Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1865) was the most sought-after print designer of his day, eclipsing both of today’s favorites Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858).
Kunisada ascended to fame due in part to the sheer scale of his output—he created more than 15,000 designs, a body of work easily surpassing that of any other print artist.
Illustrations for almost 600 books likewise added to Kunisada’s reputation. In the early 1810s he established his own studio and over the course of his career trained more than one hundred students.
Initially creating designs featuring beauties, Kunisada developed into a master of capturing the virtuosity and particular qualities that made kabuki actors unique.
Over a period of some fifty years Kunisada dominated the field of actor prints by setting new trends and immortalizing all of the great performances and actors.
This lecture will provide a glimpse into the world of Kunisada’s prints using examples from the Barbara S. Bowman Collection that will be on view at LACMA.