Japanese Print Class Sees Rarely Seen Prints

Students from Alison Miller’s Japanese Print Culture seminar took a day trip to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on Dec. 9 to see Japanese prints that are not available to wide public viewing. Miller is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Art History and Asian Studies at Bowdoin.

In addition to viewing artworks on exhibit in the galleries, students met with Sarah Thompson, curator of Japanese art, to examine a sampling of prints from the Spaulding Collection, a group of Japanese prints which, by the terms of their gift, will never be displayed in the galleries.

Viewing these prints, including works by Hishikawa Moronobu (active late 17th c.), Sharaku (active 1794-5), and Katsushika Hokusai (active early 19th c), provided the students with the opportunity to closely examine the fine line quality and impeccable color of the exceptional prints. The Boston MFA has one of the largest collections of Japanese prints in the world, and is home to the largest collection of Japanese art outside of Japan.

Students who attended the trip were Caroline Corban ’17, Courtney Gallagher ’17, and Harrison Templeton ’19. The class also curated an exhibit of twentieth century prints that will be opening at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in January.

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