Hokusai's Summit: Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji

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September 23, 2009 - January 06, 2010
Henry Luce Gallery


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Exhibition Overview

For the first time in a decade, the Honolulu Academy of Arts presents Katsushika Hokusai’s entire ‘Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji’ series, one of the museumís masterpieces. Augmenting the exhibition will be works depicting Mount Fuji by other artists.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was one of the most prolific Japanese artists of the late Edo period (1615-1868). During a career spanning more than seven decades, he is estimated to have produced as many as 30,000 works, ranging from paintings and drawings to book illustrations. He is best known today as a designer of ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and in particular was one of the early innovators in the development of landscape prints that characterized the last great development of the ukiyo-e tradition in the 19th century. His print The Great Wave Off Kanagawa is one of the most influential and recognizable designs ever made.

The Honolulu Academy of Arts’ more than 500 prints by Hokusai, one of the finest collections of its type in the worldóand a gift from the late novelist James Michener, includes a complete set of the renowned “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” series. Few institutions own the whole set. A monumental accomplishment, this series comprises many of Hokusaiís most famous prints, including The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, Mount Fuji in Clear Weather (commonly known as Red Fuji), and Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit.

This special exhibition will present the entire series. Fragile and sensitive to fading, many of the prints in this series are among the Academy’s rarest and most precious works, and they are placed on public display only infrequently. This will be an exceptional opportunity to see some of the museum’s signature works of art, and the first time in a decade that the complete series has been displayed.

Views of Mt. Fuji magnets and Hokusai "Great Wave" mini puzzle available at the Honolulu Museum of Art Shop and online.