Kawakami Sumio, Ginza (detail), 1929, Carnegie Museum of Art, Bequest of Dr. James B. Austin © Heirs of Kawakami Sumio

Imprinting in Their Time: Japanese Printmakers, 1912–2022

Gallery One

For well over a century, modern and contemporary Japanese printmakers have practiced a continual renewal of the nation’s legacy of graphic art in the wake of drastic change in Japanese life and culture. On the heels of the Meiji restoration, shin-hanga (new prints) expressed modernity through traditional methods and themes from bygone eras, such as actors, beauties, and landscapes. Embracing Western notions of the role of the artist in the creative process, sōsaku-hanga (creative prints) propelled the print into a new territory with fresh ideology and experimental techniques. Presenting a survey of the Japanese graphic tradition throughout the 20th century up to today, Imprinting in Their Time: Japanese Printmakers, 1912–2022 examines how the role of the printmaker transformed through international encounters, new sources of inspiration, and artistic motivation, and how contemporary printmakers continue to adapt this centuries-old artistic tradition for our modern sensibilities and 21st-century technologies. Drawing from Carnegie Museum of Art’s holdings of over 2,000 Japanese prints and local loans from private collections, this 11-month long exhibition features masterworks by Kawase Hasui, Yoshida Hiroshi, Munakata Shikō, Saitō Kiyoshi, and new work by Katsunori Hamanishi and Morimura Ray. The exhibition consists of three rotations with a new selection of prints featured in October 2023 and February 2024.

Throughout the exhibition, regional printmakers will host workshops to introduce participants to various printmaking techniques evident within the exhibition, alongside lectures and celebrations that connect ways that contemporarxy Japanese printmaking and global pop culture have been informed by Japanese cultural tradition.

Imprinting in Their Time: Japanese Printmakers, 1912–2022 is curated by Akemi May, associate curator of works on paper.

Exhibition Images


Carnegie Museum of Art is supported by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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