Tag Archive for: Japanese woodblock prints

Utagawa Hiroshige’s prints: fleeting images of a floating world

A triptych of circa-1843 Japanese woodblock prints by Hiroshige, the vision of Tiara Kiyomori, achieved $16,907 plus the buyer’s premium in October 2022. Image courtesy of Carlo Bonte Auctions and LiveAuctioners.

This triptych of circa-1843 Japanese woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige, ‘The vision of Tiara Kiyomori,’ achieved €17,000 (about $16,907) plus the buyer’s premium in October 2022. Image of the triptych courtesy of Carlo Bonte Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) is a celebrated Japanese artist whose reputation was hard-earned in his lifetime. Born in Edo, Japan as Tokutaro Ando, as a teenager he tried to study in the studio of the esteemed artist Toyokuni Utagawa, but was not accepted. He instead apprenticed with Toyohiro Utagawa in 1811 and was awarded his artist name, Hiroshige, in 1811. At this time, he was working at the local fire department, but quit to focus on his art. He pursued painting with a passion, but his talents went mostly unrecognized until he created a pioneering series of woodblock prints in 1832.

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Stephen Turner holds a Book of Hours offered in a January 2022 auction that realized $14,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Image courtesy of Turner Auctions + Appraisals.

To Stephen Turner, variety is the spice of auctions

 Stephen Turner holds a Book of Hours offered in a January 2022 auction that realized $14,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Image courtesy of Turner Auctions + Appraisals.


Stephen Turner holds a Book of Hours offered in a January 2022 auction that realized $14,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Image courtesy of Turner Auctions + Appraisals.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO – Stephen Turner, founder of Turner Auctions + Appraisals, hails from Canada and spent the early years of his career in the auction business working as an appraiser and specialist with auction houses in Vancouver and Victoria. After relocating to San Francisco in 1991, he worked for Butterfield & Butterfield, one of the country’s oldest auction houses, before and after it was acquired by eBay and then Bonhams. In 2004, Turner opened an auction and appraisal consulting firm, and, seven years ago, the company began hosting online-only auctions. His namesake firm specializes in fine arts, decorative arts, Asian and Southwest arts, toys, photography and prints, jewelry, militaria and books and manuscripts. Here is our recent conversation with Stephen Turner.

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Shiko Munakata, ‘Self-portrait with Hudson River,’ 1959. Photograph by Nicholas Knight. Collection of Japan Society. © Shiko Munakata

Japan Society presents ‘Shiko Munakata: A Way of Seeing’

Shiko Munakata, ‘Self-portrait with Hudson River,’ 1959. Photograph by Nicholas Knight. Collection of Japan Society. © Shiko Munakata

Shiko Munakata, ‘Self-portrait with Hudson River,’ 1959. Photograph by Nicholas Knight. Collection of Japan Society. © Shiko Munakata

NEW YORK — Japan Society is pleased to present Shiko Munakata: A Way of Seeing, a presentation of nearly 100 path-breaking works by the celebrated artist Shiko Munakata (1903–1975). Primarily known for his powerfully expressive woodblock prints in black on white paper, this exhibition reveals the breadth of Munakata’s oeuvre, which spanned from prints to calligraphy, sumi ink paintings, watercolors, lithography and ceramics and occasionally included a vibrant color palette inspired by the colorful lantern floats in the annual Nebuta Festivals of his native Aomori Prefecture. Organized from Japan Society’s rare collection — the largest Munakata collection in the United States — the installation revisits this imaginative 20th-century artist. The show is on through March 20.

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1888 print from Tsukioka Yoshitoshi's series ‘Thirty-two Aspects of Customs and Manners,’ est. $3,000-$3,500

Jasper52 spotlights Japanese woodblock prints, Dec. 8

1888 print from Tsukioka Yoshitoshi's series ‘Thirty-two Aspects of Customs and Manners,’ est. $3,000-$3,500

1888 first edition print, ‘Looking relaxed: The appearance of a Kyoto geisha of the Kansei era,’ from Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s series ‘Thirty-two Aspects of Customs and Manners,’ est. $3,000-$3,500

NEW YORK – On Wednesday, December 8, starting at 8 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will hold an auction of Japanese Woodblock Prints – 86 thoughtfully-chosen lots of images that show the stunning range of talent and mastery in this well-regarded (and well-collected) artistic arena. Represented in the lineup are works by Ikeda Eisen, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Takahashi Hiroaki, Utagawa Kunisada II, Kiyoshi Saito, Tomikichiro Tokuriki, Taisei Hokuba, Tsuru-ya Kokei, Tomikichiro Tokuriki, Morikawa Sobun and many others. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Hiroto Norikane, ‘Shoji 19, Dried Persimmons,’ estimated at $600-$700

July 7 auction explores innovative Japanese woodblock prints

Hiroto Norikane, ‘Shoji 19, Dried Persimmons,’ estimated at $600-$700

Hiroto Norikane, ‘Shoji 19, Dried Persimmons,’ estimated at $600-$700

NEW YORK – Japanese woodblock prints have a long and storied history that is rightly tangled up in the genre of Japanese art known as ukiyo-e, which flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries. The powerful allure of the best examples still casts a spell, just like they did on the Impressionists, the post-Impressionists, and generations of artists who followed. Their innovative compositions, appealing coloration, and intriguing subject matter continue to draw new collectors.

On July 7, starting at 8 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will host a 95-lot sale of Japanese Woodblock Prints. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Utagawa Hiroshige, ‘Tree Bridge Gokanosho, Higo Province,’ estimated at $6,000-$7,000

Jasper52 sale revels in the glories of Japanese woodblock prints

Utagawa Hiroshige, ‘Tree Bridge Gokanosho, Higo Province,’ estimated at $6,000-$7,000

Utagawa Hiroshige, ‘Tree Bridge Gokanosho, Higo Province,’ estimated at $6,000-$7,000

NEW YORK – The Japanese began printing with wooden blocks sometime in the eighth century, but only in 1765 did they come up with a process that permitted printing in full color. That innovation, credited to Suzuki Harunobu, allowed for a golden age of ukiyo-e, the Japanese term for woodblock prints. The images caused a sensation all over the world, and influenced prominent artists such as Mary Cassatt, Vincent Van Gogh, and most notably, Claude Monet.

On June 30, beginning at 8 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will offer 153 lots of Japanese woodblock prints. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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