New Elizabethtown College Art Exhibit Displays Work of Disappearing Art Form
October 2, 2020   //   By:   //   Arts & Culture, Campus & Community, Campus and Community, Research and Academics

A new art exhibit at Elizabethtown College, Print-Making an Impression, will introduce students to ukiyo-e, an ancient genre of Japanese art.

Beginning Thursday, October 1, the new art exhibit will be open to students to view in Lyet Gallery, located within the Leffler Chapel and Performance Center, as well as in Hess Gallery, located in Zug Hall. The new exhibit features the work of late Japanese ukiyo-e artist Andō Hiroshige as well as 46 other artists.

Hiroshige is best known for his horizontal-format landscape series The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō and for his vertical-format landscape series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. The subjects of his work were atypical of the ukiyo-e genre, whose typical focus was on beautiful women, popular actors, and other scenes of the urban pleasure districts of Japan’s Edo period (1603–1868). Subtle use of color was essential in Hiroshige’s prints, often printed with multiple impressions in the same area and with extensive use of bokashi (color gradation).

For scholars and collectors, Hiroshige’s death marked the beginning of a rapid decline in the ukiyo-e genre. Hiroshige’s work came to have a marked influence on western European painting towards the close of the 19th century as a part of the trend in Japonism. Western European artists, such as Manet and Monet, collected and closely studied Hiroshige’s compositions. Vincent van Gogh even went so far as to paint copies of two of Hiroshige’s prints from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.

Etown Professor of Art and one of the featured artists, Milt Friedly spoke on the creation of this exhibit:

“In conceiving Print-Making an Impression, I wanted to represent as many printmaking perspectives as possible in our galleries at Elizabethtown College,” he said. “Drawing from artists, the college collection, loans and my personal collection, we were able to create an exhibition of printmaking that represents many approaches by current practitioners as well as historical artists.”

Print-Making an Impression is dedicated to Dan Britton and Mitch Lyons, two dedicated printmakers who were exceptional teachers and mentors to many.

The exhibit will remain open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. every weekday until February 19, 2021, and is open to the campus community only. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on campus, visitors are very limited and should contact Milt Friedly for more information on how to view the exhibit.

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