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   from the issue of September 23, 2004

Japanese woodblock prints coming to Lentz Center

The Lentz Center for Asian Culture will present "Japanese Woodblock Prints from the 19th and 20th Centuries" from Oct. 1 through Jan. 30. A reception will be from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 8. It is free and open to the public.

Shiko Munakata,
Shiko Munakata, "Seated Woman with Buddhist Hand Gestures," 1954, black ink woodblock print with red color on verso, is one work coming to the Lentz Center.

The exhibition will coincide with the Mid-America Print Council Printmaking Conference, which takes place Oct. 6-9 at UNL and Embassy Suites. This exhibition at the Lentz Center will include a large selection of 20th century Japanese woodblock prints that have been transferred to the center from the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery.

Professor Sandy Kita, director of the arts division at Chatham College, will give a lecture at 9 a.m. Oct. 7 at the Embassy Suites. His topic will be "Why Americans Understand Japanese Prints: Changes in the Scholarship on Ukiyo-e."

The earliest woodblock prints in Asia come from Korea and date from the eighth century A.D. Japanese prints as we have come to know them evolved later. In the late 17th century, black and white woodblock prints began to appear. They were followed by prints that were hand-colored and then by those printed with a small range of colors. The prints with which we are most familiar were composed of many colors and gradations of color.

The prints, called ukiyo-e, were the graphic art of the merchant class in the feudal society of the 17th through 19th centuries. "Ukiyo" means fleeting or transitory. It is both a Buddhist idea and a reference to the hedonistic pleasures often displayed. "E" means picture. So the "pictures of the Floating World" depicted Kabuki actors, geishas and street life.

One of the most recognized print artists of the 20th century was Shiko Munakata, and the Lentz Center has eight of his prints. Other 20th century print artists will also be represented.

The Lentz Center is in the lower level of the Hewit Place building at 1155 Q St. For more information, visit



Japanese woodblock prints coming to Lentz Center
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Egg artwork now on display
Guest artists perform Oct. 3
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Print Council conference opens Oct. 6
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