Bugs, Beasts and Blossoms: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Dr. Lenoir C. Wright Collection

  • Dec 17, 2013 – Apr 13, 2014
  • The Leah Louise B. Tannenbaum Gallery
Unknown (Japanese), "Monkey Riding a Catfish", not dated, woodblock print
on paper, Gift of Dr. Lenoir C. Wright, 1992.

Unique images of nature created by Japanese artists from the Edo period (1615-1868) through the twentieth century will fill the Tannenbaum Gallery this spring. The two principal artists responsible for introducing this theme to the woodblock print art form were Hokusai (1760-1849) and Hiroshige (1797-1858). Later artists continued their custom of directly observing nature and imbuing its flora and fauna with symbolic meanings. For example, certain blossoms and birds represent specific seasons while particular animals signify distinct attributes or human mannerisms. Each picture offers delight in itself, while the exhibition as a whole conveys Japan’s deep-rooted appreciation of the natural world and its unique aesthetic sensibility.

These prints were gifted to the Weatherspoon by Dr. Lenoir “Len” Wright (1911-2003), professor emeritus of History and Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His passion for Asian culture resulted in a collection of over 600 objects that he began donating to WAM in 1978.

Related programs

Guest Lecture: David Phillips • Sun, Feb 2 @ 2 pm

Noon @ the 'Spoon • Tue, Feb 11 @ 12 pm

Art + Ikebana • Tue, Mar 11 @ 11 am (Reservations required)

We have six galleries located on the first and second levels of the museum, view our gallery map.