Turner Auctions selling gallerist’s Japanese woodblock prints Nov. 18 

Japanese woodblock prints

Tadashi Nakayama, (1927-2014), ‘Two Horses.’ Estimate: $700-$900. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – On Sunday, Nov. 18, Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present the Kappy Hendricks Collection of Japanese prints. The online auction features over 175 lots from the personal collection of Mrs. Hendricks, a longtime expert, lecturer and gallerist of Japanese woodblock prints. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Most of the works are from the 20th century. Among the artists are Tadashi Nakayama, Joichi Hoshi, Hiroshi and Toshi Yoshida, Kawase Hasui, Yoshitoshi Mori, Kiyoshi Saito, Hajime Namiki, Ryohei Tanaka, Kihei Sasajima, Hiroyuki Tajima and Ted Colyer. Artists from other centuries are represented as well, including Hiroshige, Hiroshige II, Tsuchiya Koitsu and Toyokuni III.

Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time/1:30 p.m. Eastern.

Born in Foley, Minnesota in 1935, Kappy Hendricks grew up on a farm about 50 miles from Minneapolis. Her upbringing was simple and strict, even without electricity. While Kappy’s family envisioned her future as a nun, her life path unfolded in a different direction, resulting in a worldly, accomplished woman far from the insular environment in which she was raised.

Japanese woodblock prints

Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997), ‘Winter in Aizu #17.’ Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

While attending The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, she entered a competition for Mademoiselle magazine and was chosen to be one of its college correspondents in fashion. Broadening her horizons, she transferred to the University of Colorado, where she finished her studies, did postgraduate work, and met her husband Marshall. She then worked for several years as a teacher.

In 1965, her life took a major turn when Marshall, Kappy and son Jeffrey moved to Tokyo for Marshall’s position as a lawyer with Hill Betts & Nash LLP. During the five years the family lived in Japan, Kappy became captivated by Japanese culture, aesthetics and art, particularly Japanese prints, which she began to collect. During that time in Japan, she founded The Hendricks Art Collection Ltd. and was one of the first people to import European graphic art to sell to Japanese buyers.

In 1970, the Hendricks family returned to the U.S., settling in Bethesda, Maryland. Upon the advice of a family friend, noted businessman Lucio Noto, Kappy shifted the focus of her art business to offer Japanese woodblock prints to buyers in America and beyond. She was heartened by Noto’s rationale of scarcity and value: Japanese prints were handmade in limited editions, created using a technique that was difficult to master, and respected by American and European museum curators.

The Hendricks Art Collection has continued since 1970 as a full-service gallery featuring Japanese contemporary and antique works, appraisals and consulting. The eclectic collection is mostly representational, with some abstract works. As a primary art dealer purchasing directly from artists rather than other buyers, Hendricks’ collection focused in three areas – contemporary artists of the 20th century, shin hanga transitional prints, and ukiyo-e, “pictures of the floating world,” a genre of Japanese art from the 17th-19th centuries. She appreciated the prints’ beauty and decorative appeal, looking for the best images and top-quality prints by artists whose works would increase in value over time. Through the years, the gallery exhibited works at hundreds of solo public shows at top hotels and art spaces in leading American cities on the East Coast and Midwest, or by appointment.

Japanese woodblock prints

Hiroshige III/Tokubei Ando (1842-1894), ‘Ryogoku Bridge,’ Estimate: $300-$500. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

Building on her language skills acquired while living in Japan, Hendricks obtained a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics, Japanese Language, from Georgetown University in 1973. This opened doors in art circles as well: She was invited to artists’ studios, got to know them personally, and purchased from them directly, including Tadashi Nakayama, Joichi Hoshi and Hajime Namiki. As an example, when famed artist Toshi Yoshida died in 1995, his widow Kiso contacted Hendricks, who happened to be in Japan, and invited her to purchase every pencil-signed print of her husband’s. Kappy did – and many of these are offered in the Nov. 18 sale.

In the 1970s, Hendricks started importing the works of Tadashi Nakayama, considered by many to be one of Japan’s leading woodblock print artists. They began a relationship when she and her husband were the first Westerners to be received by the artist in his house and studio in Japan. Hendricks then became the exclusive worldwide agent for the artist. Her interest in Nakayama’s work continued, culminating in the biography and catalog raisonné of his work in 1983, which helped open up Western eyes to Japanese prints. The book, Tadashi Nakayama: His Life and Work, was updated and issued in a second edition by Kappy and Jeffrey Hendricks in 2011.

As her business and knowledge grew, so did the call for her expertise in Japanese prints. Hendricks was a docent at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the only person to conduct tours in Japanese for visiting dignitaries. She also lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, American University and the American Society of Appraisers, among many other venues.

Jeffrey Hendricks, a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, joined The Hendricks Art Collection in 1989. He continues the family gallery today.

A leading figure in the Japanese print movement, Kappy Hendricks passed away in 2016. According to Jeffrey Hendricks, his mother had eclectic taste and an exceptional eye, always seeking examples of the finest quality. Now others will be able to enjoy the fruits of her talents and passion, honed over more than 50 years.

Some highlights of the upcoming sale follow:

– Lot 6: Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997). Title: Winter in Aizu #17. Edition: 77/80. Date: 1970. Condition: light paper toning. Dimensions: 19 x 24 inches. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500.

– Lot 4: Joichi Hoshi (1911-1979). Title: Branches (Blue) Edition: 30/99 Date: 1978 Condition: very light toning to border. Dimensions: 16 1/4 x 38 1/2 inches. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000.

– Lot 72: Hajime Namiki (1947). Title: Tree scene #132. Edition: 16/200. Date: 2008. Dimensions: 14½ x 28½ inches. Estimate: $400-$600.

Japanese woodblock prints

Hajime Namiki (1947), ‘Tree scene #132.’ Estimate: $400-$600. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

– Lot 133: Kawase Hasui (1883-1957). Title: Habu port Oshima. Date: 1937. Condition: Possible light fading. Dimensions: 15 x 10 inches. Estimate: $800-$1,200.

– Lot 38: Toshi Yoshida (1911-1995). Title: Vail Colorado. Date: 20th century. Dimensions: 13 1/2 x 21 inches. Estimate: $500-$700.

– Lot 1: Tadashi Nakayama, (1927-2014). Title: Two Horses. Edition: 1/75. Date: 1969. Dimensions: 21½ x 28½ inches. Estimate: $700-$900.

– Lot 80: Hiroyuki Tajima (1911-1984). Title: Scarlet Organization B. Edition: 19/50. Date: 1977. Dimensions: 25½ x 19½ inches. Estimate: $200-$400.

– Lot 87: Tsuchiya Koitsu (1870-1949). Title: Geisha by Lantern Light. Date: 1937. Dimensions: 12 x 8¾ inches. Estimate: $150-$250.

– Lot 83: Ted Colyer (1947). Title: Kage (Shadow). Edition: 4/100. Date: 1979. Dimensions: 21½ x 27½ inches. Estimate: $300-$400.

– Lot 136: Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950). Title: Fuji from Musashino. Date: 1928. Dimensions: 10¾ x 16 inches. Estimate: $800-$1,200.

Japanese woodblock prints

Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950, ‘Fuji from Musashino.’ Estimate: $800-$1,200. Turner Auctions + Appraisals image

– Lot 141: Hiroshige Ando (1797-1858). Title: 100 Famous Views of Edo. Date: circa 1857. Condition: signs of fading, centerfold and centerfold repair. Dimensions: 14¼ x 9 5/8 inches. Estimate: $400-$600.

– Lot 159: Hiroshige III/Tokubei Ando (1842-1894). Title: Ryogoku Bridge. Date: late-19th century. Medium: triptych woodblock. Condition: trimmed to image on all panels. Dimensions: 14¼ x 9¼ inches each panel. Estimate: $300-$500.

For more information, contact Stephen Turner, president of Turner Auctions, at 415-964-5250 or sturner@turnerauctionsonline.com.