Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) was one of the most popular print designers of his time. Despite his prolific production, success and enduring popularity in Japan, Western scholars have largely forgotten the name Kunisada in favor of his more famous contemporaries. This selection of prints, gifted in 2002 by Professor Emeritus Stuart A. Umpleby to the GW Permanent Collection, represents a range of Kunisadas work, from actor prints to scenes from The Tale of Genji to the art of flower arranging (ikebana), all dating to the 1840s and 1850s. Examples of some objects pictured in the prints, such as sake cups and kaishi or pocket papers are also presented alongside the prints.
Image: Utagawa Kunisada, An Elegant Swordsman at Suma (Fry kenshi Suma), 1853 [detail]. Woodblock print, 20-1/2 x 15-1/4 inches. Gift of Dr. Stuart A. Umpleby, 2002. The George Washington University Permanent Collection, P.03.8.6.
Media and Public Affairs Building
805 21st Street NW, 2nd Floor Display Cases
Now through August 1, 2016
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To see more Japanese woodblock prints, visit us for the upcoming exhibition Along the Eastern Road: Hiroshiges Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido, Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, August 24 December 2, 2016. Organized by the Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.