Art/ Collection/ Art Object

米国グラント氏御通行之繁栄
Splendor of the Procession of General Grant from America (Beikoku Guranto-shi go tsūkō no han'ei)

Artist:
Toyohara Kunichika (Japanese, 1835–1900)
Period:
Meiji period (1868–1912)
Date:
1879
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Triptych of polychrome woodblock prints; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
14 3/4 x 29 3/4 in. (37.5 x 75.6 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1962
Accession Number:
JP3423
Not on view
This print was commissioned to commemorate the former American president's visit to Tokyo (Edo was renamed Tokyo when the emperor made it his residence in 1868) and his attendance at a Kabuki performance. Like many prints executed during the Meiji era, this one acted as a type of Japanese photojournalism. As such, the speed with which it was executed and the number of copies made are partly responsible for the general decline in quality most noticeable in the color registration and uneven paint application. The setting of the print can be identified as Tokyo's new Western-style Main Street located in the Ginza district and designed by the English architect Thomas Waters. In their choice of setting, Kunichika and Kunisada III consciously celebrate the advent of modernism in Japan. Likewise, the artists made a bold statement of the Meiji era's strong nationalistic sentiment by the repetition of Japan's newly adopted flag and by the rhythms created by the pattern of the flags' brillian red centers. The bold silhouettes of hte seven Kabuki actors, one of whom wears a Western bowler hat, dominate the print as they watch Grant's silhouetted procession. According to Julia Meech, the dramatic emphasis of the actors' silhouettes recalls the tradition of Japanese shadow theater, a premise strengthened by the hand gestures made by four group members.
Signature: Ōju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu (on special request)
Santa Fe. New Mexico Museum of Art. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," June 28, 1987–August 3, 1987.

Portland Art Museum. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," August 28, 1987–October 4, 1987.

Billings. Yellowstone Art Museum. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," October 31, 1987–January 3, 1988.

Santa Fe Community College Art Gallery. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," February 13, 1988–March 20, 1988.

Albany Institute of History and Art. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," April 16, 1988–July 17, 1988.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," August 6, 1988–November 6, 1988.

Charleston, WA. Museum at Sunrise. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," November 26, 1988–January 1, 1989.

Pullman. Washington State University. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," January 21, 1989–February 26, 1989.

Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," March 11, 1989–April 23, 1989.

Saint Louis Art Museum. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," March 13, 1989–June 18, 1989.

Syracuse. Everson Museum of Art. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," July 8, 1989–August 13, 1989.

William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut. "Impressions of a New Civilization: The Lincoln Kirstein Collection of Japanese Prints, 1860–1912," September 2, 1989–October 15, 1989.

Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.

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