USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Pasadena, California 91101
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USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Views of Old Japan:
Landscape Prints and Paintings by Hiroshige
from the Collection of the Pacific Asia Museum

October 3, 2001 through January 6, 2002

Landscapes and cityscapes of Japan became the focus of many of the country's artists during the latter years of the Edo period (1600-1868). Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858) was one of the foremost designers of woodblock printed images of Japan's most famous locations. His most celebrated series The Fifty-three Stages of the Tokaido (Japanese: Tokaido Gojusan Tsugi), produced in 1833, portrays not only the mountains, rivers, and towns of Japan, but offers a valuable glimpse into the lives of travelers, villagers, and other people of this period. He also produced many prints of the popular spots in the capital, Edo, ranging from the Yoshiwara Pleasure Quarters to the major Buddhist temples. His prints were sold in Europe in the late 19th century and were avidly collected by European artists including Vincent Van Gogh, who reproduced some of Hiroshige's designs in oils.

This small exhibition presents a selection of roughly twenty-five woodblock prints and paintings of landscapes of Japan by Hiroshige. Several of them are from the famous Tokaido series, while others depict fascinating views of life in the country's capital. The works are all part of the growing collection of Japanese paintings and prints, made all the more impressive by a recent generous gift to the by Dr. George Hausner. Several paintings and drawings from the famous Harari Collection, and now a part of Pacific Asia's Collection will also be on display.