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SHODA KOHO Japanese Woodblock Print MIYAJIMA 1920s

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SHODA KOHO Japanese Woodblock Print MIYAJIMA 1920s

KOHO SHODA

Shrine Gate of Miyajima

from the series Night Scenes


Date: c. 1930s published by Hasegawa/Nishinomiya and listed as number 1251 in the 1930 Hasegawa catalog
Size: chuban, 8" X 10.75"
Condition: Fine, no flaws, uncirculated print, never framed
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, and tight registration
Color: Fine, saturated color and bleed through to verso
Provenance: from the Robert O. Muller estate (see below for more information)
This is a rare find from the Robert O. Muller estate. An pre-war edition of the famous torii gate at Miyajima Island in very good plus condition. This print was found with several other Night Scene series prints that all exhibit the pre-war features of Hasegawa/Nishinomiya prints.
ABOUT THE NIGHT SCENES SERIES
The "Night Scene" series of prints published during the early 1900's by Hasegawa/Nishinomiya of Tokyo. There are 21 chuban-sized prints included in the series which is indicative of the early transitional style of shin-hanga, the dominant movement in Japanese print making during the first half of the twentieth century. The artists who created designs for the series were: Koho Shoda, Eijiro Kobayashi, Yoshimune Arai, Kiyochika Kobayashi, and Gyosui Suzuki.

The series is comprised of prints showing evening and night views of popular Japanese landscape tableaux often under a full moon. Variant editions employing sepia and brown tones are also known, but the series is printed primarily in blues and blacks with highlights of yellow, red and pink.


WHO WAS ROBERT O. MULLER?
Robert O. Muller's love affair with Japanese prints began one day in the 1930s, when as a student in New York City he spotted a Hasui in a gallery window, and immediately arranged to purchase the print. As a newly wed in 1940 he went on a print shopping tour to Japan with his wife where he met the shin hanga publisher Watanabe Shozaburo and Watanabe's stable of artists including: Kawase Hasui, Shiro Kasamatsu, and Ito Shinsui. He also met and befriended Hiroshi Yoshida.

After WWII, Muller continued to deal in Japanese prints, but he was also an avid collector with a keen eye for good art. Although the Muller Collection is best known for shin hanga, Mr. Muller also collected late nineteenth century prints and good reproductions of famous Edo masters.

When Mr. Muller passed away on April 10, 2003, he had left possibly the largest and finest collection of 20th century Japanese prints in the world, and the question of what would become of his notorious collection was a major topic among Japanese print collectors. The finest 20th century prints from his collection were given as a gift to the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., and an exhibit was mounted. Other portions of the collection were sold at auction and still more remains with his heirs. Several books have been published about the collection.


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