21 February 2018

Japanese Prints Appeal a Roaring Success

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), The Hollow of the Deep-sea
Wave off Kanagawa
An appeal was launched to the Friends at the end of October 2017, to help raise funds to conserve some Japanese prints held in the Bristol collection. Within just two months the target was met - 105 individual Friends have donated £10,150, including gift aid, between them. 

We can now look forward to an exhibition of Japanese Prints starting in September of this year (2018). The exhibition will run for 12 months. As the prints are so light sensitive, none of them can go on display for a full year, so instead the museum will exhibit three different selections of prints throughout the year. 

Kate Newnham is working on the selection of the prints at the moment. She’s excited to share that “The first in the series, running from September to January, will showcase the exquisite Japanese landscape prints in our collection. It will include some stunning works by masters of the form such as Hokusai and Hiroshige. I cannot wait to share them with you.”

Ellie Hasler working on a Hiroshige print.
©Eve Andreski
Ellie Hasler, our new paper conservator, has already started preliminary work on the collection. Once the prints for the exhibition have been selected she’ll prioritise those, with the rest to be worked on throughout the year. Ellie is enjoying working on the project and looking forward to getting to know the collection. 

Her first priority will be to work out how many of the prints need re-mounting. As she explains, “the re-mounting process is an opportunity to fully document the condition of the prints on our collection management system. The old mounts are removed, and the prints that require it will be strip-lined, a technique that involves adding margins of Kozo fibre Japanese paper. They will then be re-mounted so that the whole sheet can be seen within the new mount aperture, meaning that you don’t lose any of the detail.”

None of this work would be possible if we had not had such a generous response to the campaign. Beth Cutter