The art of Japanese woodblock printing, known as ukiyo-e
("pictures of the floating world"), reflects the rich history and way of life in Japan hundreds of years ago. Ukiyo-e: The Art of the Japanese Print
takes a thematic approach to this iconic Japanese art form, considering prints by subject matter: geisha and courtesans, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, erotica, nature, historical subjects and even images of foreigners in Japan.
An artist himself, author Frederick Harris--a well-known American collector who lived in Japan for 50 years--pays special attention to the methods and materials employed in Japanese printmaking. The book traces the evolution of ukiyo-e
from its origins in metropolitan Edo (Tokyo) art culture as black and white illustrations, to delicate two-color prints and multicolored designs. Advice to admirers on how to collect, care for, view and buy Japanese ukiyo-e
woodblock prints rounds out this book of charming, carefully selected prints.
Frederick Harris is an artist who has lived in Japan for over fifty years. Raised in New York City, he attended a special high school for students talented in art and music before pursuing further art education at various colleges in the US. At the Art Students League, he was introduced to the Japanese woodblock print by the well-known printmaker Martin Lewis. After serving in the armed forces in Korea, he moved to Japan to establish an art studio. He currently resides in Tokyo with his Japanese wife.
"I was immediately drawn to this handsome book, and my expectation of a fine journey into the floating world pictures became fulfilled. First, the color reproductions of Frederick Harris's high-quality choices give a good sense of the way woodblock prints appear in life. Second, his writing is clear, welcoming, deeply informed, and well organized. The stated aim of Frederick Harris was to appeal to a new generation of art lovers and collectors. He appears to have hit the target. This is a wonderfully worthy effort and result—a true labor of love."—Maine Antique Digest
"A unique book on Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and one that is essential reading for all collectors, cultural historians and anyone intrigued by this endlessly fascinating subject!"—Peter Grilli, President, Japan Society of Boston
"This is a fine and passionate contribution to the vast literature on the Japanese print."—Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Guggenheim Museum
"Created by an artist and interior designer, Ukiyo-e: The Art of the Japanese Print directly reflects the sensitive eye and professional polish of its author."—Kendall H. Brown, Professor of Asian Art History, California State University, Long Beach