Collections: American Art: Yuki-Anna, The Frost Fairy

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: The Martyrs of the Union Minière du Haut Katanga at the Stadium Formerly Called 'Albert I', now 'Mobutu', Kenia Township, Lubumbashi

Both of these very different Congolese works are deeply emotional expressions. One was commissioned to resolve a person...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.


Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.


63.108.1_PS1.jpg CUR.63.108.1.jpg

Yuki-Anna, The Frost Fairy

Bertha Lum often found subject matter in the highly popular stories of Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904), an American writer living in Japan who adapted local legends and fairy tales for Western audiences. This woodcut illustrates the tragic story of Yuki-Anna, a wintry spirit who takes on human form in order to marry a young man she loves. When he betrays her secret identity, she transforms into snow and melts away forever.

  • Artist: Bertha Lum, American, 1879-1954
  • Medium: Color woodcut on cream, thin, laid Japan paper
  • Dates: 1916
  • Dimensions: Sheet: 17 5/8 x 10 1/2 in. (44.8 x 26.7 cm) Image: 17 1/8 x 10 1/8 in. (43.5 x 25.7 cm)  (show scale)
  • Markings: From Catalog Sheet: Signed, "Copyright 1916 by" in margin, "Bertha Lum" in lower center of composition, "No / 21"
  • Signature: Signed in graphite, bottom edge of sheet, inside of plate "[illegible] lit 1916 by Bertha Lum"
  • Inscriptions: Inscribed in graphite, inside of plate, lower right of sheet "no/21."
  • Collections:American Art
  • Museum Location: This item is not on view
  • Accession Number: 63.108.1
  • Credit Line: Gift of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts
  • Rights Statement: © Estate of Bertha Lum
  • Caption: Bertha Lum (American, 1879-1954). Yuki-Anna, The Frost Fairy, 1916. Color woodcut on cream, thin, laid Japan paper, Sheet: 17 5/8 x 10 1/2 in. (44.8 x 26.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, 63.108.1. © Estate of Bertha Lum
  • Image: overall, 63.108.1_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
  • Record Completeness: Best (85%)
advanced 109,608 records currently online.

Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."

Recent Comments
09:10 04/19/2011
she comes with cold breath
and her touch is death
comes resting a child on her left hip
when you are looking for your lost child
and she breathes you into a frozen statue
when you reach out

she comes with cold breath
and her touch is death
ah, you men filled with desire
she floats naked on the snow
and she is white as yuki
and her lips as red as blood
and you reach out to kiss her
and you are stuck firm to the ground as ice

yet voluptuous Yuki-onna
she has love and desire:
she fell for
a young man
and so spared him
but he was never to speak of her
but he did
and she left him heart-broken
made more cold and merciless
since the coldness and betrayal of a man

she comes with cold breath
and her touch is death
O Yuki-onna
do not come before me in the snow;
it is not your hovering body
white as snow that I wish to see
but pure snow itself
though cold and merciless it may be

Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

Before you comment...

We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

Why are some objects not on view?

The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.