Symposium: Early Modern Print Culture through a Japanese Prism: A Celebration

Image caption: Rear: Seminar participants: Nina Blomfield, Huichao Han, Anna-Claire Stinebring, Jamie Vaught, Professor Davis, Harshad Maral, Naoko Adachi, Maddie Smoot, Molly Collett, Daria Melnikova; Front: Donors: Shirley Luber, Cecilia Segawa Seigle, Ann McPhail, Don McPhail


On March 19, 2016, we held a morning symposium celebrating several recent gifts of Japanese prints, illustrated books, and reference books to the Penn Libraries (see also:

Professor Davis opened the day with thanks to our donors, the library, and to the students for making this day possible; these acts of generosity have, as she said, “transformed our world.” We have been truly fortunate that collectors Tom Musco, Cecilia Segawa Seigle, Ann and Don McPhail, and Satoko Parker have shared Japanese prints from their collections and to have a larger number of research books given to the library collection by Shirley and Marilyn Luber.

Professor Mary Elizabeth Berry from the University of California, Berkeley, followed with a brief presentation about the larger ways in which understanding these material objects, from their production as printed paper to their use in their period contexts, opens up a larger world of the early modern past to us all. Students in the seminar followed this with five-minute presentations of specific prints, bringing to light their considerable research and deep understanding of prints in the collection.

The presenters spoke on these prints from the collection (and they have all contributed the related posts on this website):

Anna-Claire Stinebring: On Chōbunsai Eishi

Huichao Han: On Utagawa Hiroshige

Nina Blomfield: On Suzuki Harunobu

Naoko Adachi: On Okumura Masanobu

Harshad Maral: On Torii Kiyomitsu

Daria Melnikova: On Torii Kiyomitsu

Molly Collett: On Ippitsusai Bunchō

Maddie Smoot: On Torii Kiyonaga

Jamie Vaught: On Utagawa Yoshitsuya

After a lively discussion with the audience, we took a group photograph and also had the opportunity to view a selection of prints in the Lea Library, given to us by Cecilia Segawa Seigle, Ann and Don McPhail, Tom Musco, and Satoko Parker.


Above: Preparing the prints for the viewing session in the Lea Library, Kislak Center



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