April 22 - August 28, 2016 | Pollard Gallery | Curated by Barry Till
Meiji woodblock prints are fascinating in that they reveal to us a country in total transition. During the short period of Emperor Meiji’s reign (1868-1912) of nearly 45 years, Japan made an astonishingly swift metamorphosis from a feudal state into a modern industrial nation and major military power. Meiji Japan was recognized as the great nation-building “success story” of the modern non-Western world. What had taken the Western powers centuries to accomplish, Japan achieved in a few short decades. The prints of the period clearly show how Japan enthusiastically threw itself into changing and modernizing the nation by adopting just about anything Western. It was truly amazing how every facet of life in Japan would experience an intense social and economic upheaval. This exhibition will focus on three main aspects of their modernization: architecture, transportation and wars. The Gallery has one of the largest and finest collections of Meiji prints in North America.