Interesting discovery of the day: In our original library, The Julia Roger’s Library, we used to have these beautiful prints in a few frames on display. It was always believed that they were copies of copies— not worth too much in terms of their authenticity and relevance.
Recently it was discovered that these prints are actually authentic wood-cut prints from the 1940s and 50s.
I spent hours sleuthing the internet (with my limited understanding of Kanji and Eastern art) and using the faintly hand-written notes on the prints to find out who created these beautiful prints. The prints above are from the renowned painter Hiroshi Yoshida. His influence on the shin-hanga style of art in Japan is remarkable, and is best known for his beautiful landscapes of not only Japan but also the Taj Mahal, the Swiss Alps, and even the Grand Canyon.
Born in 1876, Yoshida was heavily influenced by traditional Western oil-painting that became popular in Japan during the Meiji period. He created a vast system of studios focused on practicing his unique style of shin-hanga art before he passed away in 1950.
Our acquisition of these prints comes from a beautiful donation from Helen Hosp Seamans (‘23) in the early 1990s. After graduating Goucher, Helen spend a tremendous amount of time living in Japan after WWII. Inspired by the reconstruction efforts, Helen became involved in the movement and specifically worked with youths and women and the reconstruction of higher education in Japan. During her travels in Japan she obtained these prints (along with one other by another artist).