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Art/ Libraries and Research Centers/ Thomas J. Watson Library Digital Collections/ Japanese Illustrated Books

Japanese Illustrated Books

Detail of an early 19th century Japanese woodblock illustration depicting various small birds perched on branches

This collection includes over 650 eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japanese illustrated books held in The Met's Department of Asian Art.

Nearly four hundred of these are from an important acquisition in 2013 of the Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow collection of Japanese illustrated books, purchased with a gift from the Mary and James G. Wallach Family Foundation. Artists represented in the collection include Utamaro, Hokusai, and Hiroshige, who are best known today for their woodblock prints, but who also excelled at illustrations for deluxe poetry anthologies and popular literature.

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For more information on the Vershbow acquisition, see this episode of MetCollects.

Above: A Compendium of Small Birds (Kotori rui shū 小鳥類集), 1836