WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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museums. "When the prints arrived from Japan, I was stunned. They are just exquisite. Techniques used by these printmakers in - clude combinations I've never seen before." Japanese printmaking dates back to the eighth century when woodblocks were used to reproduce texts that were stamped on paper and silk. Basic woodcut techniques gradually became more complex and by the 18th century allowed for multiple colors on a single sheet. A golden age of Japanese wood- block printing followed during the mid- to late Edo period (mid-1700s to mid-1800s). Scenes depicted entertainment and pleasure, courtesans and Kabuki theater, as well as daily life and landscapes. Printmaking became a lucrative business controlled by publishers. Each print represented collaboration between the designer, the engraver, and the printer, but the publisher had creative control. This lasted until the mid-19th century when the world of the "Pleasure Quarters" was disappearing. The woodblock printing industry declined until the 1920s when a new generation of artists began innovating to express their indi- vidual creativity. Artists in the CWAJ show's early years were pioneers of this "creative print" movement, known as sosaku hanga. With complete con- trol over their own work, they have become bold experimenters and some of the most skilled printmakers in the world, said Dean. "Highfield Hall is an experiential house," said Dean. "It's a domestic interior with 175 f a l l 2 0 1 6 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e architectural features so art is presented and encountered in a whole different way than you would experience in a gallery or museum. This is the first time this art will be shown in this context. As director of the exhibition, but not its curator, I had to determine how some 200 works of art would be shown in the house. That was a challenge because originally I didn't real- ize their scale. About 75 of the prints are two feet by three feet in size. It was important to hang them in a way that's not overwhelming. Moreover, when they arrived around Christmas, they

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