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Japanese Treasures

By Tim R. on Mar 23, 2023 12:00 AM

The Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room at the Central Library is home to a lot of interesting and wild things. There are the treasures we tout on our bookmarks and advertising materials: the complete set of Audobon prints, the monumental A Book of Autographs, posters by Alphonse Mucha. But there are also treasures that are less familiar, like our collection of Japanese prints and art books. When the time came to return to exhibiting some of our treasures, it seemed the perfect opportunity to showcase these hidden gems.

More than one hundred people came through the first Japanese Treasures display in February, with an additional forty who attended the library’s presentation on the collection at the annual Anime Milwaukee convention. We had a hit on our hands, so it seemed prudent to do an encore. We’ll be showcasing these items again, and have included some new items to entice folks who came the first time!

The rare books collection truly has an interesting variety of Japanese art: Prints by the masters Hokusai and Hiroshige, images of birds by Kono Bairei, five volumes of western flowers by Tanigami Kônan. But why just talk about them when we can display them? Below are some images to whet your appetite for the upcoming Japanese Treasures open display on Saturday, April 8, 1-4:45 p.m. at the Central Library (814 W. Wisconsin Ave.)

If you’re interested in learning more about Japanese art and the library’s collection, we have an even bigger treat in store. On Saturday, April 29 at 12:00 p.m., we will host the first entry in our Krug Lecture Series since 2019. Join us as Dr. Hilary Snow, UWM Teaching Faculty in Art History and Asian Studies, presents Series, Sets, and Collections: Japanese Books and Prints in the Krug Rare Books Room.

Actors Arashi Rikan III as Takasago Yuminosuke and Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII as Ogata Jiraiya by Utagawa Kunisada

Fine Wind, Clear Morning from Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

Water scene from Seitei's Kacho Gafu

Flowers from Seiyō kusabana zufu by Tanigami Konan

Kimono design from Moyō bijutsu benran by Hironobu Asai

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