Asian Arts Exhibit at Long Beach Public Library, Main Branch

The Exhibit

In February 2017 I had the pleasure of creating three display case exhibits featuring oversized art books, artifacts, woodblock prints and ephemera from our Miller Room Collections at the Long Beach Public Library, Main branch. Items being displayed are part of the donated collections from Loraine Miller Collins in memory of her late husband, Earl Burns Miller.

At the Long Beach Public Library, Main Branch lower level you will find three exhibits of Asian arts from the 18th to 20th centuries. Some of the most incredible pieces featured are woodblock prints created by two of the greatest art masters of the color woodblock technique in Japanese art history; Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) and Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849).

The Artists: Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 – 1858)

Hiroshige not only was a master of his craft but also went on to become an inspiration to other artists in the West, influencing the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements [1]. He primarily created color woodblock prints that were typically published in a series format. His art depicted the everyday lives of Japanese men women and children, cultural experiences and the natural landscapes of Edo (Japan).

In our exhibit, you will find on display famous items such as, Sudden Shower over Shin-Ōhashi Bridge and Atake (Ōhashi Atake no yūdachi) [2], from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei) and Women Stopping Travelers at Goyu [3] from the Fifty Three Stations of the Tökaidö (Series Number: 36).

The Artists: Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849)

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was a master artist [4] and is world renown for his woodblock print, The Great Wave from the series, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. While the Miller Room Collection does have a reproduction of this amazing print, I have decided to instead exhibit Hokusai’s lesser-known creations such as Moonlight on the Yodo River [5] (1833), from the series Snow, Moon and Flowers and Poem by Kiyowara no Fukayabu [6] (1835), from the series One Hundred Poems Explained by the Nurse.

Additional Oversized Art Books and Artifacts

To highlight Japanese creative culture of the time period, I have also exhibited select artifacts such as Japanese ceramics, origami, decorative fans and a Noh mask and related art books from the collections.  You will also find on display, oversized art books relating to various Chinese art forms such as theatre, dance, textiles as well as Chinese artifacts.

Stop by the Long Beach Public Library, Main Branch, lower level today to check out these amazing pieces of Asian art history!

The Miller Room is open during for walk-ins to view the room during regular library hours. However, should you wish to use any of the collection or conduct research you will be required to place your government issued identification with the Library Assistant on staff for the day while you use the collections and will be held liable for any damage caused during the use.

Virtual Tour of the Exhibit

 

References

[1] Lane, Richard. “Hiroshige.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 16 Apr. 2012, www.britannica.com/biography/Hiroshige. Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.

[2] “Utagawa Hiroshige | Sudden Shower over Shin-Ōhashi Bridge and Atake (Ōhashi Atake no yūdachi), from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei) | Japan | Edo period (1615–1868) | The Met.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum, www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/36461. Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.

[3] “Women Stopping Travelers at Goyu.” The Honolulu Museum of Art. http://honolulumuseum.org/art/6918-women-stopping-travelers-at-goyu-station-36a_z. Accessed 24 Mar. 2017. 

[4] Lane, Richard. “Hokusai.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 28 July 1999. www.britannica.com/biography/Hokusai. Accessed Mar. 2017.

[5] “Moonlight on the Yodo River.” The Museum of Fine Arts Boston. http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/moonlight-on-the-yodo-river-yodogawa-from-the-series-snow-moon-and-flowers-setsugekka-209457. Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.

[6] “Poem by Kiyowara no Fukayabu.” The Museum of Fine Arts Boston. http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/poem-by-kiyowara-no-fukayabu-from-the-series-one-hundred-poems-explained-by-the-nurse-hyakunin-isshu-uba-ga-etoki-209285. Access 24 Mar. 2017.