Spring 2012

The Japanese Image Replicated:  Prints, Postcards, and Photographs

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-384  |  Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-384


Anne Nishimura Morse (Section 01)


(Offered as ARHA 384 and ASLC 384.)  An image that can be replicated serves a very different function from a single unique work of art; it addresses new audiences and elicits a wider range of responses. This seminar will explore three different types of replication in Japan—woodblock printing, lithography, and photography. Japanese prints have captured the imaginations of Westerners since the mid-nineteenth century. With the unprecedented achievement of literacy among urban populations during the early sixteenth century, Japan developed highly inventive woodblock texts and images. This seminar will investigate the history of the Japanese print in the Edo period (1615 -1868) through the works of artists such as Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, and Utagawa Hiroshige. It will also examine how the postcard replaced the print as the favored format for the dissemination of images during the early twentieth century, becoming the primary visual means for communicating Japan’s modernity before the advent of World War II. In Japan, photography evolved from studio productions for tourist souvenirs to extremely creative compositions that transcend national boundaries. The course will make extensive use of the collection at the Mead Art Museum as well as that at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  One class meeting per week held in the Study Room at the Mead.

Spring semester.  Limited to 15 students. Visiting Lecturer A. Morse.

If Overenrolled: Priority to ARHA and ASLC majors


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012