September 17, 1986
Hiroshige’s One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Autumn, an exhibition of 25 woodblock prints by one of Japan’s greatest masters of landscape design, will be on view from September 17 to November 3 in The Brooklyn Museum’s Japanese Galleries located on the second floor. The works, rich in color and elaborate in technique, are from the Museum’s renowned complete edition of 118 prints arranged by season and depicting celebrated scenic places in nineteenth-century Edo (modern Tokyo). The exhibition is the first of five small seasonal presentations to be shown. A second display completing the presentation of the autumn prints will be held from November 5, 1986 through January 5, 1987, followed by winter, spring and summer. The Museum will exhibit the complete set of prints including several alternate states of designs in the series in September of 1987.
The series of exhibitions celebrates the publication of One Hundred Famous Views of Edo published by George Braziller, Inc. in association with The Brooklyn Museum. The book, the first Western edition of the Museum’s extraordinary set of landscape prints, is fully illustrated in color, and includes introductory essays and commentaries by Henry D. Smith II, Associate Professor of History at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Director of the University of California Tokyo Study Center at International Christian University, Tokyo; and Amy G. Poster, Associate Curator of Oriental Art at The Brooklyn Museum; ($75.00, hardcover). Mrs. Poster also installed the exhibition.
One Hundred Famous Views of Edo by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) was first issued in 1856-1858, and was probablyintended as the artist’s last great effort. The Museum’s set is one of the rare complete early editions in exceptionally fine condition. In the series, Hiroshige combines a variety of specialized printing techniques with a striking new approach to composition in which close-ups of foreground subjects frame the distant background scenes. The sites the artist depicted tended not to be monuments erected by the rich and powerful, like famous sights of Western cities, but rather places of relaxation and release from the strictures of a highly ordered society which are often associated with the four seasons. Because of the popularity of the series, Hiroshige designed fifteen more prints than the one hundred indicated in the title before he died. Three more prints were designed by his pupil Shigenobu (Hiroshige II) and published a month after his master’s death.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1986, 132-133. View Original