This holiday season, The Blade takes you to a wintry setting in another time and place.
“Zojo Temple, Shiba,” a 1925 work from Twenty Views of Tokyo by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), captures the renowned woodblock print artist’s famous snow scene depicting the 16th century temple in Tokyo. A gift of Hubert D. Bennett, this print and 90 others by Mr. Hasui can be seen in the exhibition “Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints” at the Toledo Museum of Art through Jan. 1. Mr. Bennett, who died in 1951, was president of the Toledo Scale Co. and a Toledo Museum of Art trustee. He donated more than 300 Japanese prints to the museum in 1939.
The Toledo Museum of Art’s “Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints” exhibit is winding down, and there is just a week left to see the pristine examples of shin hanga woodblock print art.
An estimated 22,000 people have viewed the exhibit and 25,000 total are expected before it closes Jan. 1, according to a museum spokesman.
Ten artists have been featured in the exhibit. Shin hanga, which means “new prints,” is a contemporary art movement that began in Japan in 1915. It involved painstakingly carving wood blocks that were saturated with paint and used to produce watercolor prints of actors, beautiful women, the natural world, and landscapes.
The museum first exhibited most of the more than 330 prints in 1930, and Toledo businessman and civic leader Hubert D. Bennett was so enamored of them that he purchased most of them and donated them to the Monroe Street museum.
With a few exceptions, they have been kept in storage until September, when the original exhibit was replicated to great fanfare from fans of the art form.
“Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints” is free and is in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Canaday Gallery. The museum is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Monday and major holidays, including today for Christmas and on New Year’s Day next week. For more information go to toledomuseum.org.