Collection Theme

Japanese Prints

Carnegie Museum of Art houses a collection of nearly 3,000 Japanese woodcut prints ranging the 12th century to the 1980s, with particular emphasis on ukiyo-e and modern prints.

Within the collection are extensive groups by some of the most recognized names in Japanese printmaking, including over 300 works by Utagawa (Andō) Hiroshige, over 150 by Katsushika Hokusai, and 24 by Kitagawa Utamaro. About one third of the works in the collection were made after 1900, providing an in-depth look at the two dominant art movements of the early and mid-20th century: sōsaku-hanga (creative prints) and shin-hanga (new prints). Shin-hanga, as seen in the work of Kawase Hasui, was concerned with maintaining traditional approaches to representation, subject matter, and the production process. Sōsaku-hanga artists, such as Hiratsuka Un’ichi, Onchi Kōshirō, and Munakata Shikō, insteadstressed individual expression and embraced an experimental approach to subject and representational strategies. A highlight at the museum is a rare, complete set of Munakata’s Ten Great Disciples of Buddha scrolls. Also of note is a very rare complete set (number 31 out of 50 created) of the One Hundred Views of New Tokyo, a collaborative series of 100 woodblock prints made by eight important sōsaku-hanga artists between 1929 and 1932.