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The Lenoir C. Wright Collection

By the early 1700s, Edo (modern-day Tokyo) had grown into a bustling metropolis of more than a million inhabitants and its vibrant urban culture became the inspiration for a new form of artistic expression known as ukiyo-e—pictures of the floating world. The floating world referred to the escapist and ephemeral pleasures offered in Edo's kabuki theaters and the Yoshiwara, a licensed brothel district on the northern outskirts of the city. Celebrated actors and glamorous courtesans are the subjects of most floating world images, but as ukiyo-e artists were especially attuned to popular pastimes and pursuits, they also exploited the public’s love of travel and its fascination with samurai history. By the early nineteenth century, landscapes and warriors had been added to the repertoire of images. Ukiyo-e artists favored the woodblock print medium because it enabled mass production, from cheaply produced black and white images to luxurious full-color designs using exotic pigments and precious minerals. Successful designs were issued in several editions to meet popular demand. These prints carried Edo’s urban culture and floating world sensibilities far beyond their origins in the entertainment districts. The Lenoir C. Wright Collection of Japanese woodblock prints at the Weatherspoon Art Museum is the only collection of its kind and depth in the state and numbers close to 400 hundred works of art. In 2002 the collection was the focus of a major traveling exhibition and catalogue by Dr. Allen Hockley of Dartmouth College. Due to their light sensitivity, prints from the Wright collection are exhibited at WAM on an occasional basis.

Showing 1 to 25 of 36 Records

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Title Artist Medium & Support Creation Date Accession Number
Kabuki Actor Morita Kanya VII, from the series Ehon butai ogi (Picture Book of Stage Fans), volume 1   Bunchô, Ippitsusai   woodblock print on paper  1770 
Courtesan Hinazuru from the House of Choji-Ya Holding a Hand Mirror   Eisui, Ichirakutei   woodblock print on paper  1798 
A Horse (Uma)   Fukita, Fumiaki   woodblock print on paper  1971 
The Letter   Harunobu, Suzuki   woodblock print on paper  c. 1768 
Illustration of the Courtesan Tamagawa from the Picture Book "Comparing Beauties of the Green Houses"   Harunobu, Suzuki   woodblock print on paper  1770 
Night Snow at Kambara   Hiroshige, Utagawa (Ando)   woodblock print on paper  1833 
Snow on Mt. Haruna in Kozuke Province   Hiroshige, Utagawa (Ando)   woodblock print on paper  1855 
Kinryuzan Temple at Asakusa   Hiroshige, Utagawa (Ando)   woodblock print on paper  1856-1858 
Celebration of the Festival of the Cock in the Rice Fields near Asakusa (Asakusa tambo torinomachi mode), 1857, No. 101 from the series 100 Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)   Hiroshige, Utagawa (Ando)   woodblock print on paper  1857 
An Eagle Flying over the Hundred-Thousand Tsubo Plain at Susaki, near Fukagawa (Fukagawa susaki Jumantsubo), No. 107 from the series 100 Famous Views of Edo   Hiroshige, Utagawa (Ando)   woodblock print on paper  1858 
White Rooster (Symbol of Peace) on a Signal Drum Covered with Ivy   Hokkei, Totoya   woodblock print on paper  1825 
Spring Poems   Hokusai, Katsushika   woodblock print on paper  1798 
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji: The Great Wave off Kanagawa   Hokusai, Katsushika   woodblock print on paper  c. 1829 
Winter Composition   Iwami, Reika   woodblock print on paper  1959 
Degatari: Kabuki Actors Iwai Hanshiro IV and Sawamura Sojuro III as Koharu and Kamiya Jihei in the Drama "Shinju ten no Amijima" ("The Love Suicides at Amijima")   Kiyonaga, Torii   woodblock print on paper  1784 
Visiting a Shrine   Kiyonaga, Torii   woodblock print on paper  c. 1795 
Kabuki Actor Sawamura Shungaro as Goro   Kiyonobu, Torii (attributed to)   woodblock print on paper  c. 1710 
Noh Actor Wearing Mask and Emblem of Ryujin, the Dragon King of the Sea   Kôgyo, Tsukioka   woodblock print on paper  c. 1900 
Yokihime, from the series "Nogaku Zue" ("Pictures of Noh Performances")   Kôgyo, Tsukioka   woodblock print on paper  1898-1902 
Kabuki Actor Nakamura Utaemon IV as Higuchi no Jiro Kanemitsu from the Drama "Hirakana Seisuiki"   Kunisada, Utagawa (Toyokuni III)   woodblock print on paper  n.d., mid 19th century 
Scene at Tora-no-mon in Toto   Kunisada, Utagawa (Toyokuni III)   woodblock print on paper  c. 1840 
Kabuki Actor Nakamura Utaemon IV and an Unknown Child-Actor as Matsuemon and Komawakamaru from the Drama "Hirakana Seisuiki"   Kunisada, Utagawa (Toyokuni III)   woodblock print on paper  1840 
Ebisu   Kuniyasu, Utagawa   woodblock print on paper  c. 1820 
Kabuki Actors Bando Mitsugoro III and Segawa Kikunojo V   Kuniyasu, Utagawa   woodblock print on paper  c. 1826 
Black and Grey Cat   Saito, Kiyoshi   woodblock print on paper  c. 1955 
Showing 1 to 25 of 36 Records