Item description for Strong Women, Beautiful Men: Japanese Portrait Prints from the Toledo Museum of Art by Laura J. Mueller...
Shin-hanga, literally meaning 'new prints', was the name given to a Japanese print artists' movement in the early 20th century which sought to revive the traditional style of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo period (1610-1868). The connection between shin-hanga and the Toledo Museum of Art began when Yoshida Hiroshi, one of the leaders of the movement, and his artist wife met J. Arthur MacLean and Dorothy Blair. When MacLean and Blair established Toledo's Asian Art Department in 1927-28, they decided to collaborate with their friends the Yoshidas on two exhibitions of modern Japanese prints, in 1930 and 1936. This book accompanies the Museum's exhibition 'Strong Women, Beautiful Men', which explores the concept of the human form in Japanese woodblock prints. Many of the works in the extensive Toledo collection deal with the genre of popular figures, such as Kabuki actors in famous roles and bijin-ga, images of beautiful women.
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Laura J. Mueller is completing her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; the topic is Entertaining Virtue: The Naturalization of Confucianism in Edo Print Culture. She is also Van Vleck Curatorial Intern at the Elvehjem Museum of Art.