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Birds in Japanese Art and Poetry

Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797-1858), Mallards Beneath Snow-Laden Reeds, early 1830s, woodblock print, ink and colors on paper, o-tanzaku, John Chandler Bancroft Collection, 1901.59.1472

February 21-July 16, 2004

Birds have long been a favorite motif in Japanese painting and poetry. They have been linked with specific seasons and interpreted as reflections of human emotions and qualities. The exhibited woodblock prints, cloisonné and ceramic ware, from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, feature birds of many species. Produced for sophisticated townsmen, prints by artists such as Utamaro and Hokusai incorporated “exotic” stylistic influences of Western and Chinese art, while Hiroshige popularized the “bird-and-flower” genre by infusing his compositions with classic poetic sentiment and symbolism.

The Untraditional Birder's Tour
Saturday, April 24, 2 p.m.
This unique birder's tour highlights birds in the Worcester Art Museum's Asian and Egyptian galleries with special focus on the winged denizens found in the current print exhibition Birds in Japanese Art and Poetry. Bring any field guides that you have. Free with Museum admission: $8 adults, $6 senior citizens 65+ and college students with ID, free for ages 17 and under, and free for Museum members.

Select Images from the Exhibition