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The Prelude

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Shoen UEMURA, Japanese
The Prelude, Ca. 1910 -1920s
Ink on paper
21 5/8 in. x 15 13/16 in. (54.86 cm x 40.13 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2011.1.22

Shoen Uemura was an outstanding artist who became the first woman to receive the Japanese Order of Cultural Merit. This design is one of her most famous works. It was selected for the postage stamp published by the Japanese National Postal Service in April, 1954. It was also on the poster of The Uemura Shoen Exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto from November 2 to December 12 in 2010.

Artist's signature: Shoen

ink on paper

Object Description
The image depicts a part of The Prelude, or Jo-no-mai, which is a dance performed in the introduction to a Noh play. The painting from which this print is derived is quite large - about 9 inches wide and 56 inches in height. The painting was also the first painting by a Japanese woman to be designated as an Important Cultural Property by the Agency of Cultural Affairs of Japan.

Shoen was the first woman to receive the Order of Culture, which is Japan's highest award of cultural achievement.

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