By ERIN ALLEN
Making the news in March and April was the Library's exhibition titled "On the Cutting Edge: Contemporary Japanese Prints," which features some 200 works from the College Women's Association of Japan (CWAJ) Print Show. Coinciding with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the exhibition marked the 50th anniversary of the CWAJ Print Show along with the Library's acquisition of the show's prints. (See Information Bulletin, April 2007.)
Robin Tierney of The Examiner said, "When thinking of great Japanese exports, add this exhibition to the list." Focusing on the diverse group of artists from "young guns" to "elders," she examined the history of the Japanese print-making movement and highlighted several stellar pieces that represented the breadth and depth of the exhibition's items. "The scenic views of 'On the Cutting Edge' make it tempting to salute cherry blossom season indoors," said Tierney.
Epoch Times reporter Gart Feuerberg also highlighted several pieces from the exhibition, including some of his favorites like "Snow Moon" by Brian Williams and "Sakai" by Yoshiyuki Someya. "A print exhibition at the Library of Congress is a rare treat," he said, mentioning that the institution is more known for its books and manuscript collections.
Also featuring stories were The Washington Post, which said that the exhibition's prints would be "fresh additions to its collection of contemporary works," and the blog devoted to the art of woodblock prints by illustrator Annie Bissett (http://woodblockdreams.blogspot.com), who purchases annually the catalog from the CWAJ Print Show "to pore over the pictures of the winning prints."
In other news, the Library was once again a stop on the annual tour of the StoryCorps mobile recording booth, during the week of March 26. The award-winning national initiative encourages Americans to record one another's stories. These oral histories are preserved for all time as part of the StoryCorps Archive, housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Marking this stop at the Library was the participation of several of the nation's lawmakers, whose stories were recorded for the project.
The Hill reporter Stacey Pistritto spotlighted Reps. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) for her April 4 story. "The true meaning of a story is often realized years after a narrative is told," she said.
Rep. Blumenauer sang the praises of StoryCorps, saying that the project was a "nice reversal" to the fast-paced life most Americans lead, with little time for daily reflection. During his interview, he took the opportunity to discuss the importance of the Library of Congress and its personal meaning for him.
Rep. Farr used his time in the recording booth to reflect on the death of his mother and sister. "My sister's death is the most profound thing that's ever happened in my life, and it led me into politics," he said. "One of the ways I've found to keep the love I have for my mother and my sister is to talk about it."
Thanks to StoryCorps and the Library, Pistritto said, his tale will be on record for others to listen to for years to come.
American Folklife Center Director Peggy Bulger was interviewed by Roll Call reporter Marnette Federis about the StoryCorps project, which was recently honored with a Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media. (See Telling Our Stories.)
"The project is absolutely one of the best ways to use broadcasting journalism, especially with a project that is actually documenting American life and history," said Bulger. "[The project] is about going into communities and gathering everyday stories that don't usually get captured by historians."
Erin Allen is a writer-editor in the Public Affairs Office.