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[Delve into Japanese Culture@ I-House]
The Art of Ukiyo-e and the Pleasures and Pitfalls of Collecting Them


  • *This program has finished.
    • Lecturer: Chris Uhlenbeck (Curator,Japan Museum SieboldHuis; Print dealer)
    • Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 7:00-8:30 pm
    • Venue: Kabayama-Matsumoto Room, International House of Japan
    • Language: English (without Japanese interpretation) kisako_logo
    • Admission: 2,000 yen (1,500 yen for IHJ members and students; Free for guests staying at I-House on January 10 or 11)
      Please pay in cash at the reception.
    • Seating: 80 (reservations required)
    I-House and KISAKO Intercultural Institute are offering English sessions on Japanese culture which can lead to new awareness both for non-Japanese and Japanese. For the next lecture, we will invite Chris Uhlenbeck, ukiyo-e expert based in Leiden, the Netherlands to talk about the historical and cultural background of ukiyo-e and how to distinguish good prints from bad ones.
    Message from the Lecturer:
    Collecting Japanese prints can be a daunting task: how can one distinguish real from fake, valuable from worthless? To understand Japanese prints one first needs to fully comprehend the method of production of prints during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
    Only then is one able to determine whether a print is the real thing. Having established that it is real, the true problems start: how does one determine if the quality is good? Is it faded, trimmed, foxed, a poor impression? All these questions need answering before deciding to pull the yen, dollars or euros from your pocket.
    In this presentation I will not use PowerPoint but rather I will bring examples of good and bad, for the audience to handle and inspect. If time allows, I will add a few words about conservation and mention sources for enhancing one’s knowledge and expertise in the area of Japanese print collecting.

    Chris Uhlenbeck

    Photo: Chris Uhlenbeck
    Chris Uhlenbeck started his business dealing in Japanese prints, Hotei Japanese Prints, in 1982. In 1988, he opened a bookshop dealing in new and second-hand books on Japan including ukiyo-e books. Since 1992, Mr. Uhlenbeck has worked as a freelance curator for numerous exhibitions in the Netherlands, the United States and Japan. He has curated exhibitions on Japanese photography, shunga, and various artists such as Hiroshige, Kuniyoshi, and Yoshitoshi, also producing catalogs for these exhibitions.From 2007, he has been head curator at Nihon no Hanga, a private museum in Amsterdam featuring 20th-century Japanese prints.

    Currently, combining the role of curator with his print dealership, he is working at the Japan Museum SieboldHuis in Leiden, the Netherlands. He travels to Japan three to four times a year to visit his clients, auctions, museums and colleagues.

    Mr. Uhlenbeck published his first book on Japanese art, on 19th-century Japanese photography, in 1992. Since then he has published numerous books and catalogs including Ukiyo-E: The Art of Japanese Woodblock Prints (with Amy Newland,1999), Mount Fuji: Sacred Mountain of Japan (with Merel Molenaar, 2000), Printed To Perfection: Twentieth-Century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection (with Joan B. Mirviss and others, 2004), Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period (with Margarita Winkel and others, 2005), Hiroshige, Shaping the Image of Japan (with Marije Jansenin, 2009), Yoshitoshi: Masterpieces from the Ed Freis Collection (with Amy Reigle Newland,2011), and Waves of Renewal: Modern Japanese Prints 1900-1960 (with Amy Reigle Newland and Maureen de Vries, 2015).