Japanese Prints

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Japanese, 1839–1892). Fujiwara no Yasimasa Playing the Flute by Moonlight (detail), 1883. Color woodcut triptych. Museum purchase, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts Endowment Fund. 1982.1.32a-c

The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts houses one of the largest and finest collections of Japanese prints in the western United States. Numbering over 3,000 works, it concentrates on the great period of ukiyo-e printmaking from the late eighteenth century until the end of the nineteenth century. A sizeable number of color woodcuts and woodcut-illustrated books by some of the most recognized artists of the ukiyo-e era—such as Harunobu, Utamaro, Hokusai, and Hiroshige—came to the Museums from Carlotta Mabury and Katherine Ball during the early twentieth century. Other donations, including considerable works from Moore S. Achenbach’s personal holdings, have expanded the collection to include fine examples of the many popular ukiyo-e subjects, from actor prints to landscapes, surimono to shunga, helping to establish a basis for this area of collecting.

The Japanese print collection also contains a comprehensive overview of Japanese prints from the sōsaku hanga or “creative print” movement dating from the first half of the twentieth century, including the work of Hide Kawanishi and Kōshirō Onchi.