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Colored in the Year’s New Light:
Japanese Surimono from the Becker Collection
November 8–January 4


Surimono, privately published woodblock prints, comprise one of the most elegant and literary genres of Japanese printmaking traditions. Many surimono were commissioned by poetry groups in celebration of the New Year and printed using the most advanced techniques. Cleverly designed combinations of kyoka (“crazed verse”) poems and accompanying images expressed the literary wit and sophistication of the commissioners, while challenging the recipient to decipher allusions that would reveal disguised messages. This exhibition comprises prints from an outstanding private collection, representing the peak of surimono production in the early nineteenth century by such masters as Hiroshige, Hokusai, Hokkei, Gakutei, Eisen, Shinsai, Shunman, and Kunisada.

Due to the size of the collection and light-sensitivity of the prints, the exhibition will be displayed in two rotations. The first part will remain on view through December 7 and the second part will be shown from December 9 to January 4.

Surimono_kintoki Totoya Hokkei
Japanese, 1780–1850
Kintoki Exorcising a Demon at the New Year, ca. 1820s
Woodblock print
Collection of Gloria and Horace Becker

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