Seven Masters: 20th-Century Japanese Woodblock Prints
In the first half of the twentieth century, a desire to revive the great Japanese tradition of woodblock prints (known as ukiyo-e) and simultaneously capture the dynamic, modern life of Japan, gave rise to an art movement known as shin hanga, the “new print.”

– Dr. Andreas Marks, Curator of Seven Masters

As the once-isolated nation of Japan entered the 20th century and began to assimilate a new, Westernized culture, demand for certain traditional handicrafts fell off significantly—among them, the iconic woodblock prints known in the West as ukiyo-e. Publishers and artists slowed production and created fewer new designs. Yet what seemed at first to be the death-knell of a unique art form without parallel in the world turned out to be the dawning of another, as the path was cleared for a new kind of print: shin hanga.

The exhibition Seven Masters: 20th-Century Japanese Woodblock Prints focuses on seven artists who played a significant role in the development of the new print, and whose works boldly exemplify this new movement. Drawing from the superb collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the exhibition features the spectacular beauty portraits of the artists Hashiguchi Goyō (1880–1921), Itō Shinsui (1898–1972), Yamakawa Shūhō (1898–1944), and Torii Kotondo (1900–1976); striking images of kabuki actors by Yamamura Kōka (Toyonari) (1886–1942) and Natori Shunsen (1886–1960); as well as the evocative landscapes of Kawase Hasui (1883–1957). These multi-talented artists were all successful painters as well, but this exhibition looks exclusively at their unrivaled work in print design, and includes a cache of pencil drawings and rare printing proofs to offer insight into the exacting process of woodblock printing.

Number of Works:
There are two versions of the exhibition, each containing 75 comparable works of art, including woodblock prints and drawings
Organized by:
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Andreas Marks, PhD, Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Approximate size:
300–350 linear feet
High security
Participation Fee:
Please inquire
IA&A makes all arrangements; exhibitors pay outgoing shipping within the contiguous U.S.
Booking Period:
12 weeks
January 2020 – January 2022
January 2020 – January 2022
Seven Masters: 20th–Century Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Wells Collection by Andreas Marks, with essays by Chiaki Ajioka, Ishida Yasuhiro, Yuiko Kimura-Tilford, Amy Reigle Newland, Charles Walbridge, Matthew Welch, and Yano Haruyo
Education Materials:

To be determined