Designed for pleasure : the world of Edo Japan in prints and paintings, 1680-1860
- edited by Julia Meech and Jane Oliver ; with essays by John T. Carpenter ... [et al.].
- New York, N.Y. : Asia Society : Japanese Art Society of America ; Seattle, WA : University of Washington Press, 2008.
- Physical description
- 256 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 31 cm.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- A Mirror on the Floating World / Donald Jenkins
- Hishikawa Moronobu: tracking down an elusive master / David Waterhouse
- The original source (accept no substitutes!): Okumura Masanobu / Sarah E. Thompson
- Suzuki Harunobu: the cult and culture of color / Allen Hockley
- Katsukawa Shunshö: Ukiyo-e paintings for the samurai elite / Timothy Clark
- Tsutaya Jüzaburö: master publisher / Julie Nelson David
- The literary network: private commissions for Hokusai and his circle / John T. Carpenter
- Designed for pleasure: Ukiyo-e as material culture / David Pollack.
"Designed for Pleasure" is a dazzling probe of Japan's famous "floating world" of spectacle and entertainment. The volume makes new discoveries about the patronage and commerce of an art that has been characterized for a century as sensational but plebeian. From luxury paintings of the pleasure quarters to Hokusai's iconic "Red Fugi, " "Designed for Pleasure" presents a focused examination of the period's fascinating networks of art, literature, and fashion, proving that the artists and the publishers and patrons who engaged them not only mirrored the tastes of their energetic times, they created a unifying cultural legacy.Edo (modern Tokyo) grew from a swampy outpost into a metropolis after the Tokugawa shogunate established it as their seat of government in 1603. By the early eighteenth century it was the largest city in the world with over a million inhabitants. Edo flourished and became a magnet for literati, artists, craftsmen, entertainers, merchants, and others ministering to the needs of samurai and leisured townsfolk. The paintings, prints, and books under discussion, known as ukiyo-e, tell the cultural history of these years, when Japan was almost isolated from the outside world. Though it is the prints that first captured the attention of the Western world - and there is no denying their graphic brilliance - they were almost always the work of artists who thought of themselves primarily as painters. They often sign their prints as being "from my brush." Some artists gave up designing prints in favour of painting once their reputations were established."Designed for Pleasure" attempts to remedy the long-held practice of ignoring the paintings that were made to order for the elite market and art prints that were either directly commissioned or designed to appeal to this same group, which largely consisted of samurai officials and retainers. They also examine the business side of printmaking and the commercial pulse of the times. "Designed for Pleasure" offers eight tailored essays illustrated by masterworks from United States collections, many published for the first time: reappraising the ukiyo-e artist and ikiyo-e scholarship; Hishikawa Moronobu, first master of ukiyop-e; Okumura Masanobu, artist and entrepreneur; Suzuki Harunobu, color innovator; Katsukawa Shunsho, luxury painter to the elite; Tsutaya Juzaburo, master publisher; Hokusai and the literary network; and the nineteenth century, expanding the technical and commercial parameters of ukiyo-e.Julia Meech is the author of "Frank Lloyd Wright and the Art of Japan" and the editor of "Impressions", the journal of the Japanese Art Society of America. Jane Oliver is an editor and consultant in Asian art. Other contributors include John T. Carpenter, Timothy Clark, Julie Nelson Davis, Allen Hockley, Donald Jenkins, David Pollack, Sarah E. Thompson, and David Waterhouse.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
- Publication date
- Issued in connection with an exhibition held Feb. 27-May 4, 2008, Asia Society and Museum, New York, New York.
- 0295987863 (pbk.)
- 9780295987866 (pbk.)
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