Smithsonian curator to lecture at Mitchell Gallery tomorrow

| December 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

mitchellgalleryJames Ulak, senior curator of Japanese art at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries, will present a lecture “Road Trip: Hiroshige’s Eye-Opening Travelogue” at St. John’s College. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Mellon Hall’s Conversation Room on Tuesday, December 2 at 5:30 p.m. 

The lecture explores the “Utagawa Hiroshige: Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido” exhibition on view through December 12 at the Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College. The exhibition features 55 woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), recording the scenic views along the famous Eastern Road that linked Edo (now Tokyo) with Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of Japan. This popular series, known as the “Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road”, was published in 1833-1834 and established Hiroshige’s reputation as the foremost artist of the topographical landscape.

In his lecture, James Ulak will consider the unique visual qualities of Hiroshige’s innovative images and the wider circumstances that led to their production and persistent popularity. After joining the Freer and Sackler staff in1995, Ulak served as deputy director (2003-2010) and head of collections and research, and chief curator (2002-2003). A specialist in the history of narrative painting production in14th and15th century Japan, he received his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1994.

The “Utagawa Hiroshige: Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido” exhibition is organized by the Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania, and is generously supported by the Helena Foundation.

For more information: www.sjc.edu/mitchellgallery

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