the early twentieth century, the Library of Congress has collected
Japanese graphic art. The Library's substantial collection is particularly
strong in woodblock prints from the Shin Hanga and Sôsaku
Hanga movements that dominated Japanese printmaking through the
Shin Hanga, or "new prints," were
produced in the time-honored way of Ukiyo-e woodblocks, with a publisher
commissioning designs from the artist and the actual carving of
the woodblocks and printing being done by professional artisans.
Shin Hanga prints often refer to traditional subjects, such as landscapes
and beautiful women.
The overriding concern of artists
in the Sôsaku Hanga, or "creative prints" movement is toward
the new and original. Sôsaku Hanga artists are involved in
the entire printmaking process and design, cut, color, and print
their own works either personally or by direct supervision. The
selection on display here focuses on Sôsaku Hanga prints and
ends with an example of contemporary Japanese printmaking which
builds on traditions of Ukiyo-e.