Press tour for the new exhibition “Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer’s Japanese Illustrated Books”
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 – 9:30am – 11:00am
Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Ave. S.W.
Enter through the Enid A. Haupt Garden
Edo-period Japan (1615–1868) was an age of great social and political change—and of epic book consumption—that gave rise to an unprecedented “reading culture” of artists, writers and publishers. Similar to blogging and e-publication in the 21st century, illustrated books (ehon) in Edo-period Japan evolved quickly into a new cultural commons and a way to share ideas. The Pulverer collection’s first exhibition since its acquisition, “Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer’s Japanese Illustrated Books,” on view April 6–Aug. 11, explores this revolution in both artistic expression and commercial trade.
The more than 100 volumes on view will be organized similar to a modern-day bookstore, allowing visitors to browse a wide variety of topics, including design, crafts, botany, travelogues, scholarly texts and poetry, as well as works by celebrated artists Hokusai and Utamaro. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full range of museum programs in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, including an opening weekend celebration of Japanese art and design (April 5–7), Japanese book-binding workshops and an annual anime festival (April 13–14).
Media should RSVP to PressAsia@si.edu and notify staff in advance of any recording and filming needs.
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