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  • Thumbnail for Edo
    Edo by Ouchi Makoto (1926-1989)

    Color aquatint; ink and colors on paper, framed under glass. Born in Kawasaki, Ouchi started making prints around 1968. He exhibited with both Japanese domestic and international print groups and specialized in finely produced images of the faces of Edo-period Kabuki actors on stacked cubes, as in the Ross Museum example. One author describes him as follows: "Ouchi compresses the lapse of centuries in these piungent contemporary compositions and satirizes the ephemeral quality of time by the presence of butterflies and dragonflies that flutter incongruously along the edges of his works" (from Blakemore, p. 153). Another author notes his devotion to "the Kabuki Theater since childhood when he began spending much time around the actors, and through the years became familiar with their roles.… Ouchi explained that as time goes by, and as older actors pass on their roles to younger ones, though the actors change, they portray the characters in the same manner as before – generation after generation…[he] sees his Kabuki themes in a modern format which reflects his view of contemporary life…the cube to him represents the man-made confinement of mankind, the intrusions on man's freedoms. 'Right angles are made by man, while curved lines – of fruits, for instance – are made by nature.'" (from Johnson and Hilton, pp. 51-52).

  • Thumbnail for Two Thai pots (pot 1)
    Two Thai pots (pot 1)

    Allegedly from the ancient Thailand site of Ban Chiang. Painted earthenware. When this archaeological site was discovered in the 1960s, it predated the earliest known bronze age site in Thailand, and southeast Asian prehistory was rewritten. Ban Chiang was occupied for over 2000 years prior to the Common Era and its accidental discovery pushed the date of civilization in southeast Asia back nearly two millennia. Ban Chiang is a UNESCO World Heritage Area site, considered the most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in South-East Asia. It marks an important stage in human cultural, social and technological evolution during the prehistoric era in Southeast Asia 3600 BCE - 200 CE.

  • Thumbnail for Mount Fuji from along the Hakone Road
    Mount Fuji from along the Hakone Road by Okada Koichi (born 1907)

    Woodblock print; ink and colors on paper. This is one of a series of 12 views of Mt. Fuji produced and distributed by the Kyoto publisher Unsodo.

  • Thumbnail for Khmer Head of a Divinity
    Khmer Head of a Divinity

    Angkor Wat style; sandstone; 10 1/2in. (27cm.) high. The characteristic detail and sensitivity of Khmer religious stone carving emerges in the facial features and intricate hairstyle of this fragment. With its face firmly set and framed within its hairlines, the image is at the same time both powerful and serene.

  • Thumbnail for Blue Engraving
    Blue Engraving by Kim Lim (1936-1997)

    Intaglio print on paper. British sculptor and printmaker of Chinese birth. She grew up in Singapore and at the age of 18 decided to go to London to study at Saint Martin’s School of Art (1954–6) where she took a particular interest in wood-carving; she then transferred to the Slade School of Art, where she concentrated on printmaking, graduating in 1960. Whilst at college she often travelled through Asia and Europe en route back to Singapore, with Indian and South-East Asian sculpture and spirituality making a great impact on her work. While Lim always acknowledged a debt to the work of Constantin Brancusi in her simplification and abstraction of forms, it is in her concern for the specific qualties of materials, as in her use of charred wood to create contrast, that the influence of Eastern spirituality and concepts of balance can be seen. In 1960 she married the painter and sculptor William Turnbull, settling in London but continuing to travel widely. In the 1960s and 1970s her sculptures were mainly carved from wood, using forms inspired by basic rhythmic forms and structures, with each element forming a balanced whole. Her prints from this time also explore these modulations, as in the etchings Set of Eight (1975; see 1995 exh. cat., pp. 24 and 28), which consist of simple patterns of blocks and lines.

  • Thumbnail for Kashmiri Illustrated manuscript about Vishnu (and his Krishna incarnation) (text 2)
    Kashmiri Illustrated manuscript about Vishnu (and his Krishna incarnation) (text 2)

    Book manuscript; ink, colors, and gold on paper. Ohio State University Professor Susan Huntington notes that this is probably a 19th century piece. She notes that it is actually a very nice example with later paintings and manuscripts just now gaining favor compared with the older materials.

  • Thumbnail for Kashmiri Illustrated manuscript about Vishnu (and his Krishna incarnation) (text 1)
    Kashmiri Illustrated manuscript about Vishnu (and his Krishna incarnation) (text 1)

    Book manuscript; ink, colors, and gold on paper. Ohio State University Professor Susan Huntington notes that this is probably a 19th century piece. She notes that it is actually a very nice example with later paintings and manuscripts just now gaining favor compared with the older materials.

  • Thumbnail for Potter Under Tiled Roof
    Potter Under Tiled Roof by Mori Yoshitoshi (1898-1992)

    Kappazuri (stencil printing); ink and colors on paper. Mori, who began as a textile designer, turned to stencil printing in 1954 after receiving encouragement from Yanagi Sôetsu. He straddled the worlds of the artist and the artisan-craftsman until 1962, when Serizawa Keisuke criticized Mori in a well-known debate for abandoning the crafts movement. Mori thereafter devoted himself to the art of kappazuri-e. His subjects included kabuki scenes, craftsmen, festivals, and figures from traditional stories. He printed on both colored and unprinted grounds. The Ross Museum print illustrates an example from a series of seven prints from 1973 depicting artisans. Though untitled, this design is known as "Potter under Tiled Roof." It is signed "Y. Mori," dated "73," and numbered 18/70. Arguably the best design from the group, the strength of the potter is admirably portrayed as he works the clay to form the vase. The simplicity of the roof and the boldness of the figure add a sense of monumentality to the design.

  • Thumbnail for Mura - 'Village'  - figures working 1
    Mura - 'Village' - figures working 1 by Inagaki Nenjir? (1902-1963)

    Portfolio of 20 woodblock prints; ink and light colors on paper. Born Kyoto. Alt. name: Inagaki Nenjiro. Graduated in 1922 Kyoto City School of Fine Arts and Crafts. Became a designer of stencil patterns for fine kimonos. Exhibited in craft divisions of Bunten and Kokugakai from 1941. Held several positions at Kyoto City College of Fine Arts. His work as a stencil-dyed fabric designer was designated an Intangible Cultural Property in 1962. In the 1950s he designed multicolor hanga which have the stylized quality of his textile designs but were printed from single woodblocks at Mikumo Mokuhansha in Kyoto. This company had been founded by Ishihara Tadao in January 1942. It still exists today. The prints in the OWU collection are characteristic of Inagaki's works of the 1950s that resemble his textile designs.

  • Thumbnail for Mura - 'Village' - plants 1
    Mura - 'Village' - plants 1 by Inagaki Nenjir? (1902-1963)

    Portfolio of 20 woodblock prints; ink and light colors on paper. Born Kyoto. Alt. name: Inagaki Nenjiro. Graduated in 1922 Kyoto City School of Fine Arts and Crafts. Became a designer of stencil patterns for fine kimonos. Exhibited in craft divisions of Bunten and Kokugakai from 1941. Held several positions at Kyoto City College of Fine Arts. His work as a stencil-dyed fabric designer was designated an Intangible Cultural Property in 1962. In the 1950s he designed multicolor hanga which have the stylized quality of his textile designs but were printed from single woodblocks at Mikumo Mokuhansha in Kyoto. This company had been founded by Ishihara Tadao in January 1942. It still exists today. The prints in the OWU collection are characteristic of Inagaki's works of the 1950s that resemble his textile designs.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of Thoreau
    Portrait of Thoreau by Matsubara Naoko (born 1937)

    Edition: 45/100. Woodblock print; ink on paper.This is a fine, interesting work by this woman artist, indicative of modern Japanese artist-intellectuals' interest in Western philosophers. Born in Tokushima, on the island of Shikoku, Matsubara Naoko grew up mostly in the city of Kyoto. Her father was one of the most senior Shinto priests in Japan, and her mother came from a very old Shinto family. After graduating from the Kyoto Academy of Fine Arts (now Kyoto Fine Arts University), she went to the United States as a Fulbright scholar, spending a year at the Carnegie Institute of Art (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, where she received her MFA.

  • Thumbnail for Two Thai pots (pot 2)
    Two Thai pots (pot 2)

    Allegedly from the ancient Thailand site of Ban Chiang. Painted earthenware. When this archaeological site was discovered in the 1960s, it predated the earliest known bronze age site in Thailand, and southeast Asian prehistory was rewritten. Ban Chiang was occupied for over 2000 years prior to the Common Era and its accidental discovery pushed the date of civilization in southeast Asia back nearly two millennia. Ban Chiang is a UNESCO World Heritage Area site, considered the most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in South-East Asia. It marks an important stage in human cultural, social and technological evolution in the prehistoric era of Southeast Asia, 3600 BCE-200 CE.

  • Thumbnail for Maid Servant Holding Up a Mirror to Her Mistress
    Maid Servant Holding Up a Mirror to Her Mistress

    From Kota (Rajastan); ink and opaque color on paper; 7 7/8in. x 5 3/8in. (19.8cm. x 13.5cm.) This precisely painted, sensual and intimate image is an excellent example of the Rajput painting style that developed out of a highly Mughalized idiom. The finely detailed features of the two figures and the refined comforts of this palace terrace scene allow great insight into the precious world of the Indian nobility. This leaf is an illustration to a Ragamala: Biawal Ragini of Hindola Raga.

  • Thumbnail for Korean Meiping (plum shaped) vase with celadon glaze
    Korean Meiping (plum shaped) vase with celadon glaze

    Size: Height: 27 ½ cm. A letter from the donor is preserved and states that “The choicest article in the box (of items he sent to the library) is a celadon vase of the rare old Korean pottery, for hundreds of years only to be had from desecration of the royal tombs in which this ware had been buried with the bodies of departed dignitaries who had died prior to some five hundred years ago. This particular piece came from a royal tomb looted by Japanese.â€

  • Thumbnail for Two Balinese Shadow Puppets (puppet 1 face)
    Two Balinese Shadow Puppets (puppet 1 face)

    Height: 50 cm Material: Gilt wood; one wearing silk shot through with gold over cotton petticoats, the other wearing a cotton dress. Balinese puppets came from the small island of Bali. “They are made of painted leather or wood and adorned with splendid garments, mantles, diadems, necklaces...their expressions are either ecstatic or demonic...These figures represent jinn, demons, heroes, and divinities from Indian mythology and legend†(Encyclopedia of World Art). The Bali puppets at Beeghly Library are not the flat-leather puppets (of wayang-kulit) which performed before screens, but are wayang-golek, “a completely rounded wooden figure that was developed in Java, it is less powerful because it is more photographic†(McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Art).

  • Thumbnail for Korean amulets and chatelaines (4)
    Korean amulets and chatelaines (4)

    These are interesting pedagogically in discussions of Asian shamanism but need further study.

  • Thumbnail for Unknown - Japanese woodblock print
    Unknown - Japanese woodblock print by Yoshida Toshi (1911-1995)

    Edition: 117/150 Woodblock print; ink, colors, and silver on paper. Born in Tokyo in 1911, Toshi Yoshida was the eldest son of Hiroshi Yoshida. Under his father's influence, Toshi began to learn painting at age 3 and woodblock printing at age 13. From 1925-29 he studied oil painting at Taiheiyo Art School and in 1929 traveled with his father to India and Southeast Asia. In 1936 Toshi journeyed to China and Korea. In 1952-53 he visited the US and Europe where he exhibited works and lectured about woodblock prints. In 1954 he taught printmaking for one month at the Art Institute of Chicago and since that time has often traveled to the US, Canada, Mexico, Africa, Australia and Antarctica for sketching, exhibitions and lectures. For a few years after the war, he made prints of abstract subjects, but then reverted to prints of scenery and animals. In 1980, Toshi opened the Miasa Cultural Center in Nagano Prefecture where he taught students from many countries, including Carol Jessen and Karyn Young.

  • Thumbnail for Mountains and Lake
    Mountains and Lake by Kanamori Yoshio (born 1922)

    Edition 7/30. Woodblock print; ink and colors on paper, framed behind glass. Born in Toyama prefecture. Studied with Munakata Shiko. Exhibited widely in the USA in 1958, Specializes in prints of simplified landscapes with stylized figural imagery such as feathers, flowers, or, as here, butterflies, floating in the air.

  • Thumbnail for Korean amulets and chatelaines (7)
    Korean amulets and chatelaines (7)

    These are interesting pedagogically in discussions of Asian shamanism but need further study.

  • Thumbnail for Clock Tower on Street Corner of Washington D.C.
    Clock Tower on Street Corner of Washington D.C. by Hiratsuka Un'ichi (1895-1997)

    Woodblock print; ink on paper, framed under glass. Hiratsuka, one of the preeminent figures in the sosaku hanga movement, was born in Matsue, Honshû. In 1913 he met the artist Ishii Hakutei (1882-1958), a western-style painter and printmaker who had published the first sosaku hanga print (Yamamoto Kanae's "Fisherman") in the magazine Myôjô in 1904. Ishii admired Hiratsuka's painting, and in 1915 the younger artist moved to Tokyo to continue his study with Ishii, who urged him to learn block carving and printing. He did so for about six months with Igami Bonkotsu (1875-1933), becoming the best-trained block carver in the sosaku hanga movement. Hiratsuka exhibited his first prints in 1916 at an exhibition of the independent Nika-kai ("Second Division Society"), and by the 1920s his reputation in the world of printmaking was considerable. It is likely that Hiratsuka had some influence upon nearly every important sosaku hanga artist. He taught sessions on woodblock printing in various parts of Japan, inspiring, among many students, the great Munakata Shiko, who learned to use the v-shaped chisel from Hiratsuka when they first met in 1928. Between 1935 and 1944 Hiratsuka taught the first blockprinting course at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (Kitaoka Fumio and Hashimoto Oike were among his students). In 1948 he established his own school in Tokyo. He moved to Washington D.C. in 1962, but ultimately returned to Japan in 1994. Hiratsuka was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government in 1970, and in 1991, the Hiratsuka Un'ichi Print Museum was opened in Suzaka, Nagano Prefecture.

  • Thumbnail for Mura - 'Village' - figures working 2
    Mura - 'Village' - figures working 2 by Inagaki Nenjiro (1902-1963)

    Portfolio of 20 woodblock prints; ink and light colors on paper. Born Kyoto. Alt. name: Inagaki Nenjir_. Grad. 1922 Kyoto City School of Fine Arts and Crafts. Became a designer of stencil patterns for fine kimonos. Exhibited in craft divisions of Bunten and Kokugakai from 1941. Held several positions at Kyoto City College of Fine Arts. His work as a stencil-dyed fabric designer was designated an Intangible Cultural Property in 1962. In the 1950s he designed multicolor hanga which have the stylized quality of his textile designs but were printed from single woodblocks at Mikumo Mokuhansha in Kyoto. This company had been founded by Ishihara Tadao in January 1942. It still exists today. The prints in the OWU collection are characteristic of Inagaki's works of the 1950s that resemble his textile designs.

  • Thumbnail for Indian Text Written on Palm Leaves entitled: Rahasya (Mystery) (leaves spread out)
    Indian Text Written on Palm Leaves entitled: Rahasya (Mystery) (leaves spread out)

    Width: 37 cm. Material: wood and green palm leaves; housed in a silk-covered hammered metal cylinder Date of text, 18th century; container possibly Chinese made later to house this document. This Sanskrit text is entitled “Rahasya†or Mystery and it is ascribed to Brahma. The Mystery contains religious legends. The Mystery is written on palm leaves in Grantham characters. The palm leaves were allowed to yellow to make the written characters more visible.

  • Thumbnail for Indian Text Written on Palm Leaves entitled: Rahasya (Mystery) (leaves in tube)
    Indian Text Written on Palm Leaves entitled: Rahasya (Mystery) (leaves in tube)

    Width: 37 cm. Material: wood and green palm leaves; housed in a silk-covered hammered metal cylinder Date of text, 18th century; container possibly Chinese-made later to house this document. This Sanskrit text is entitled “Rahasya†or Mystery and it is ascribed to Brahma. The Mystery contains religious legends. The Mystery is written on palm leaves in Grantham characters. The palm leaves were allowed to yellow to make the written characters more visible.

  • Thumbnail for Patta - Jain cosmological image
    Patta - Jain cosmological image

    From Gujarat/Rajastan; ink and colors on cloth; 63 1/2in. x 64 1/8in. (152.2cm. x 163.5cm.) This elaborate and easily readable painted image illustrates the cosmological beliefs of the Jain religion. Essentially the patta is a representation of the creation of the mortal realm. Brightly colored concentric circles superimposed upon meandering streams, figures and texts create a vivid picture of the world as visualized by Jain philosophers in their complex oral and written discourses.

  • Thumbnail for Virhani
    Virhani

    From Mewar (Rajastan); ink and opaque color on paper; 8 3/4in. x 71/2in. (21.8cm. x 19.8cm.) This lyrical composition is a representation of the unhappy love of the heroine, Radha, suffering the absence of her lover. Painted in the conservative Indian style, this image shows little artistic awareness and contact with the Mughal School of painting.