Portland Art Museum / Three Centuries of Japanese Prints

The Artist’s Touch,

Portland Art Museum Three Centuries of Japanese PrintsThe Craftsman’s Hand

Three Centuries of Japanese Prints

from the Portland Art Museum

October 1, 2011–January 22, 2012

Japanese Prints have been integral to the identity of the Portland Art Museum since 1932, when the Museum was given 750 traditional woodblock prints from the collection of Mary Andrews Ladd, a member of one of Portland’s founding families. Since then, the Museum’s holdings have grown to more than 2,500 works, spanning from the late 17th century to the present day. This fall, after three years of intensive research, the Museum will present the first major exhibition to draw exclusively from this remarkable public resource.

The Artist’s Touch, The Craftsman’s Hand will feature a finely honed selection of some The Artist’s Touch, The Craftsman’s Hand features a finely honed selection of 250 of the most historically important and visually compelling Japanese prints in the Portland Art Museum. Special strengths in the exhibition include 18th-century actor prints; surimono, deluxe prints that were privately commissioned; painterly landscapes of the early 20th century, including a series that documents the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923; and contemporary works.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue, edited by Maribeth Graybill, Ph.D., The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art, with essays by Curator Emeritus Donald Jenkins; John T. Carpenter, Ph.D., Curator of Japanese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Laurence R. Kominz, Ph.D., Professor of Japanese Language and Literature at Portland State University; and Lynn Katsumoto, Research Associate.

Lectures and Special Events

Unless otherwise specified, all  events are free with Museum admission. Tickets for lectures are available in advance online and onsite. Please check the Museum website for updates and ticket information: http://www.portlandartmuseum.org/

The Enduring Fascination of Japanese Prints

Opening lecture by Maribeth Graybill

The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art

Sunday, October 2 at 2 pm

Dr. Graybill will introduce the exhibition with a consideration   of why and how Japanese prints have captivated audiences  for centuries. Graybill is curator of The Artist’s Touch, The Craftsman’s Hand, and editor and co-author of the companion publication.

Kabuki in Print

Guided tour by Laurence  R. Kominz

Professor of Japanese language and literature, Portland State University

Saturday, October 8 at 12:30 pm

A renowned scholar, director, and performer of Japanese kabuki drama, Kominz contributed the essay on actor prints to the exhibition publication. This tour will be offered again on Saturday, November 12.

Sex, Lies, and Censorship in Japanese Prints

Guided tour by Maribeth Graybill

Sunday, October 16 at 3:00 pm

Actors and courtesans, the denizens of Edo’s Floating World, were ostensibly at the bottom of Edo’s social ladder—but in reality they were icons of sexual desire and cultural sophistication. This tour will focus on gender and social status in the world depicted in Japanese prints.

Celebrating Luxury: Still Life in Surimono

Lecture by John T. Carpenter

Curator of Japanese Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thursday, October 27 at 6:00 pm

One of the world’s leading authorities on surimono (privately published prints), Carpenter will explore the special qualities of still-life imagery in surimono, focusing on works in the exhibition. Dr. Carpenter contributed the essay and catalogue section on surimono to the exhibition publication.

Marketing the Beauties of Yoshiwara

Lecture by Julie Nelson Davis

Associate Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania

Sunday, November 6 at 2 pm

Portland native Julie Nelson Davis has won acclaim for her studies of the interrelationships between artists, publishers, and the famed brothels of eighteenth-century Edo. In this talk, she will examine the ways that print artists marketed Yoshiwara, Edo’s licensed pleasure district.

Kabuki in Print

Guided tour by Laurence Kominz

Saturday, November 12 at 12:30 pm

Tour meets at Park Avenue entrance

A repeat of the tour offered on October 8.

Where have all the great prints gone?

The Passionate Art of Collecting Japanese  Ukiyo-e Prints

Lecture by Joan B. Mirviss

Independent Scholar and Dealer

Thursday, December 1, Whitsell Auditorium, 6 pm

A New York-based scholar and leading dealer in Japanese Art, Joan Mirviss will provide a perspective on past and present collecting Japanese prints in the US and Europe. The discussion will also include comments and guidelines for today’s collector..

Connoisseurship Workshop for Ukiyo-e Prints

with Joan B. Mirviss

Saturday, December 3, 1:30–3:00 pm

Miller Gallery, Mark Building

Using prints from the Museum’s collection together with those belonging to participants, Mirviss will explain how to evaluate a print’s quality and market value.

Workshop sponsored by the Asian Art Council and free to AAC members; $5 for Museum members; $15 for non-members to attend workshop. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Admission to the exhibition is not included in workshop price.

There is an additional charge of $25 for prints selected for evaluation. Those wishing to have a print examined may bring up to three prints for consideration on Saturday morning between 10 am and noon; reservations required; call 503-276-4242.

their prints examined must make advance reservations by calling 503-276-4242.

City and Countryside in Japanese Prints

Guided tour by Maribeth Graybill

Sunday, December 11 at 3:00 pm

Tour meets at Park Avenue entrance

This tour will focus on the nineteenth-century landscapes of Hokusai and Hiroshige and the twentieth-century views of Tokyo following the 1923 earthquake and immediately following World War II.

Kabuki Workshop

with Laurence Kominz

Saturday, January 14, 10 am–noon

Fields Ballroom, Mark Building

After a brief introduction to kabuki acting, students will engage in exercises that introduce them to the creation of characters on the kabuki stage: putting bodies and voices in action to become geisha, princesses, samurai, merchants,   and super-heroes. The workshop involves vigorous physical movement.  All participants should be able to kneel on the floor, stand up, and kneel back down; and all should wear socks and loose, comfortable clothing that facilitates movement.

For people 16 years of age and up. The number of participants  is limited to the first 26 participants; reserve a place by calling 503-276-4295. Observers welcome. $10 for Museum members, $15 for non-members. Admission to the exhibition not included in ticket price.

Family Day: Celebrating Japanese Prints

Sunday, January 15, noon to 4 pm

Family-friendly printmaking, Ikebana flower arranging, and the chance to experience kabuki makeup. Join us for a day that will make memories that last a lifetime.

Program support is provided in part by our Community Partners: Ikebana International Portland Chapter and Portland State University.

Family Programs are generously supported in part by the Gordon D. Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Foundation, Sharon L. Miller and Family and the Lamb Baldwin Foundation.

Claiming a Place in the Modern World: Japanese Prints in the Twentieth Century

The Annual Mildred Schnitzer Lecture in Asian Art

Donald Jenkins, Curator Emeritus

Sunday, January 22 at 2 pm

Whitsell Auditorium

This lecture will explore the fate of Japanese prints in the twentieth century, when Japan’s industrialization brought about radical social and economic change. When “modernization” was interpreted as “Westernization” in so many fields, how did Japanese printmakers find ways to assert their modernity while sustaining an art form with deep resonances to their own cultural heritage?

Portland Art Museum

1219  SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205


503.226.2811, info@pam.org

Hours:  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 10-5

Thursday and Friday, 10-8 / Sunday, noon-5

Closed Mondays