Cheekwood will host Japanese Woodblock Prints: Selections from the Judith and Joseph Barker Collection in the Museum of Art.
Like Cheekwood’s upcoming Modern Twist bamboo sculpture exhibit, the Barker Collection showcases revered Japanese traditions through fine art, skill and craftsmanship.
Dating back more than three centuries, woodblock printing in Japan has consistently featured images of women and landscapes, though the styles have evolved with time. The first prints were commonly called Ukiyo-e, or “floating world pictures,” depicting scenes from Tokyo’s entertainment district.
The prints in the Barker collection, however, come from the late 1800s and into the middle of the twentieth century. During this period, the art became known as Shin Hanga, and focused heavily on images of fashionable women.
As Western influences continued to change Japanese culture, shin hanga came to represent the “modern girl,” or modan garn. The prints began to incorporate a new level of perspective, depth and detail, apparent in the selections of this exhibition.
“We are so excited to bring pieces from the Barker Collection to Nashville,” Said Jochen Wierich, Curator for Cheekwood’s Museum of Art. “This exhibition is a natural complement to the sculptures of Modern Twist, and a beautiful representation of Japanese history and culture. Major museums around the world have extensive holdings of prints from this era—we’re honored to present a selection from an internationally renowned private collection.”