Item description for The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints by Amy Reigle Newland...
The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints" will serve as a source of quick reference as well as an in-depth study of all aspects of Japanese prints from the Edo (1600-1868) to Taish (1912-26) periods. The first section of Hoteis Guide to Japanese Woodblock Prints is divided into four main subject areas: historical background, the art history of Ukiyo-e prints, print production (materials and techniques, the publishing trade) and the history of collecting Japanese prints, with a shorter fifth section on conservation. Each subject area will contain a longer survey article which will be accompanied by shorter essays that will highlight specific topics pertaining to Japanese prints and their development. The second section of the book comprises an extensive alphabetical listing of well over a 2,000 carefully cross-referenced entries on individual print designers and schools, publishers, carvers, printers and collectors, major Kabuki actors, materials and! techniques, conservation, subject-matter/iconography, literature and miscellaneous print-related terminology. This will be followed by various appendices, including such aspects as seals of publishers and carvers, signatures, maps and chronological tables. With this ambitious project Hotei Publishing hopes to fill the gap for an extensive reference work on Japanese prints, one that will prove a valuable resource for teachers and students, art collectors, librarians and interested lay-people alike.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints?
A splendid two-volume set Dec 27, 2007
A truly outstanding publication, the two-volume work stands as a monument to the Japanese art of woodblock print that has so captured the imagination of artists and collectors alike in the past 400 years.
Volume I contains the meat of the book. Broadly divided into three historical periods - the Edo Period (1603-1868), the Meiji Period (1868-1912), and the Late Meiji to Taisho eras (early 1900-1926), the volume shares with readers numerous insightful articles written by scholars, from both sides of the Pacific Ocean, on Japanese history and arts, covering topics ranging from the origin of the woodblock prints, the various forms of prints (Ukiyo-e, Nagasaki-e, Sumo prints, etc.), seminal and landmark publishers of these masterpieces, to collecting and preserving woodblock prints. Last of which was particularly helpful since it brought up things to consider in collecting Ukiyo-e prints (quality, condition, and rarity) and the ways to discern originals prints from reproductions - though short in its coverage, it nevertheless highlights mistakes that casual collectors make on purchasing prints from shops and, especially, from on-line sources such as eBay. This volume also has many wonderfully reproduced woodblock prints.
Volume II (a thinner 180-page volume) provides further useful information. Contained within the volume are a 93-page glossary of print artists (including designers, illustrators, and collectors) and woodblock print terms, artist index in conjunction with lineage charts with information on major schools of print designers and their teacher/student relationships, artist signature facsimiles which can be used to identify artist's name on the print, censor seals, publisher seals, and an extensive and excellent bibliography.
The book is truly impressive in its breadth of coverage. As a novice to the world of Japanese woodblock prints, the two-volume work serves me well as an excellent introduction to this splendid art form. Any serious students of the subject will be well served to have this publication in their library. Although this site gives a generous discount to the book, it is still a fairly pricey item. If you don't want to purchase a copy, you can still marvel its contents by getting a copy from your local library (mostly likely via their interlibrary loan program). Either way, you will not be disappointed.