There’s a new exhibit at the Michener Museum, and it details and celebrates the art of Japanese and Japanese American printmaking and illustration.
There’s an increased interest in these practices nationally, and with the new showcase titled Mid-Century to Manga: The Modern Japanese Print in America, visitors will be able to trace the story of the modern sōsaku-hanga (or “creative prints”) movement and other creative collectibles across the past century–from Japan to the United States and beyond, according to a release.
What visitors can find while at this new exhibition is a wide array of prints—75 to be exact—highlighting Manga, and over two dozen of which have never been on display at the Michener Art Museum before (such as Kiyoshi Saitō’s Winter in Aizu series).
“We are very excited to be displaying works from our collection which are so rarely shared with the public,” says Director of Exhibitions, Joshua Lessard in a statement. “This show highlights many incredible and exciting stories of cultural exchange and continuity, from the early Showa Era through to contemporary artists making prints today.”
The exhibit ultimately leads to focusing on three center pieces from James Michener’s 1962 book The Modern Japanese Print: An Appreciation. As a release states, this very large folio — each is approximately two-feet tall and three-feet wide when opened — contains signed original woodblock prints by modern Japanese printmakers Hiratsuka Un’Ichi, Maekawa Sempan, Mori Yoshitoshi, Watanabe Sadao, Kinoshita Tomio, Shima Tamami, Azechi Umetaro, Iwami Reika, Yoshida Masaji, and Maki Haku.
To add to the experience, Michener Art Museum will also be offering some immersive and hands-on activities to get Philadelphians involved. This will be done through a range of programs, including a manga workshop for teens, an International Family Day celebration—which will take place June 11 and feature storytelling and activities for all ages)—floral design and Japanese printmaking workshops. A full schedule and list of activations can be found online.
Lastly, the release states for this project, the Michener Art Museum is engaging regional partners at the University of Pennsylvania to provide specific content-area expertise, with curation by the History of Art Department Chair, Julie Nelson Davis, and support from curatorial fellows Marina De Melo Do Nascimento, Maria Puzyreva, and Nicholas M Purgett. Philadelphians can learn more and can check out the experience themselves through July 30 of this year. More information can be found online.
To learn more about Mid-Century to Manga: The Modern Japanese Print in America and the Michener Art Museum (138 S Pine St., Doylestown), visit michenerartmuseum.org