March 6, 2007 Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Prints Starts March 29

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Kimberli Curry (202) 707-3822, Katherine Blood (202) 707-4622
Website: Visit the exhibition online.

“On the Cutting Edge: Contemporary Japanese Prints,” an exhibition featuring 212 fine prints from the College Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ) Print Show, will open at the Library of Congress on March 29, coinciding with the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

The exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the annual CWAJ Print Show and celebrates the donation of the show’s prints to the collections of the Library of Congress.

“On the Cutting Edge,” open from Thursday, March 29, through Saturday, June 30, 2007, will be displayed in the Northwest Gallery on the second floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

More than 800 prints were submitted for selection for CWAJ’s 50th Anniversary Print Show, which opened in Japan in October 2005. A jury of leading Japanese art curators selected 221 outstanding examples, 212 of which were donated to the Library by the artists or by their galleries. This important acquisition brings a fresh infusion of contemporary work to the Library, updating its superb collection of Japanese prints from the Edo Period to the 20th century.

The prints, dating primarily from 2003 to 2005, encompass a rich diversity of styles, printmaking techniques and subject matter. Some examples include Toko Shinoda’s strong, calligraphic abstract lithographs; Noboru Yamataka’s colorful woodcuts combining landscape and architectural subjects; and Daniel Kelly’s lithograph and woodcut portrait of a contemporary beauty.

The CWAJ Print Show, an annual event in Tokyo since 1956, is acknowledged in art circles worldwide as a premier showcase for contemporary Japanese print art, known as hanga. The show has developed into one of the largest contemporary print shows in Japan and has a significant place in the history of 20th century graphic arts. During the last 50 years, almost every great Japanese or Japanese-influenced print artist has exhibited with the CWAJ. Works by Print Show artists are held in the collections of major museums around the world.

The CWAJ is a nonprofit volunteer organization of more than 600 women, Japanese and non-Japanese, from more than 30 countries. The Print Show is the culmination of CWAJ’s mission to nurture friendship, cross-cultural exchange and a commitment to education. Print Show proceeds fund scholarships, help support artists and provide a range of educational opportunities.

The exhibition, in Washington, D.C., during the peak of the cherry blossom season, will stir memories of Japan’s original donation of the cherry trees to the United States as a symbol of cross-cultural friendship almost a century ago.

This exhibition and related programs and publications are made possible by the support of Anthony and Beatrice Welters and Americhoice, a UnitedHealth Group company, and the United States-Japan Foundation. Additional support was provided by George and Patricia Wellde, the College Women’s Association of Japan, the Tokyo Club and Toyota Motor North America. The Library is grateful to the artists and the dealers who donated prints from the 50th anniversary exhibition.

The prints will be preserved in the permanent collection of the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division (, which currently includes about 14 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day. International in scope, these visual collections represent a uniquely rich fund of human experience, knowledge, creativity and achievement, touching on almost every realm of endeavor: science, art, invention, government and political struggle, and the recording of history.

The exhibition was organized by the Library’s Interpretive Programs Office (IPO), under the direction of Irene Chambers. The exhibition was coordinated by Kimberli Curry of the IPO and curated by Katherine Blood, fine prints curator in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division.

For maps and directions to the Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress, visit

Images for publicity purposes are available. Contact Donna Urschel at 202-707-1639.


PR 07-041
ISSN 0731-3527