WCMA Winter Break
The Williams College Museum of Art will be closed Saturday, December 24, 2011 through Monday, January 2, 2012 for the winter break campus shutdown. All of us at WCMA hope you have a joyous holiday and winter season. Since we have yet to receive the sort of weather one normally associates with New England during the December holidays, here is a beautiful winter wonderland image. It is a Japanese woodcut by Kawase Hasui entitled, Zojoji, Shiba (Snow) (from the series “Twenty Views of Tokyo (Tokyo Nijukei)”), 1925 from the museum’s collection. Hasui was a prominent painter and printmaker (1883-1957). According to Elizabeth Gallerani, WCMA’s Coordinator of Mellon Academic Programs, when the wood block is prepared for print making, the areas that are meant to show nothing are cut away with a knife or other tool and leave the original surface level to appear as the image. After the carving of the wood block is finished, the artist must then ink the block and bring it into firm and even contact with the paper to achieve a print. To use different colors, multiple blocks are used.
To view all of the woodblock prints in the museum’s collection, you can search our collection here, click on “Search”, then “Advanced/Objects”. Then, select “Medium” and “contains” in the drop down boxes, and type in “woodblock print”.
More of Hasui’s prints can be found on the Tokyo Digital Museum website and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). In fact, LACMA has a print of the same image featured above. The Freer Sackler Museum also has an online exhibition that explores Hasui’s work.
Here is another winter wonderland scene Hida, Nakayama, 1925 from the LACMA collection by Kawase Hasui. The landscape is reminiscent of Williamstown.