This online gallery coincides with the upcoming Hokusai exhibition, which will be on view from April 5, 2015 - July 26, 2015 in the Ann and Graham Gund Gallery. These slides and corresponding activities focus on the techniques that Hokusai used as a woodblock printmaker.
This online gallery coincides with the upcoming Hokusai exhibition, which will be on view from April 5, 2015 - July 26, 2015 in the Ann and Graham Gund Gallery. These slides and corresponding activities focus on the techniques that Hokusai used as a woodblock printmaker. Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized, and this exhibit will showcase an array of his paintings, diagrams, and prints. This online gallery focuses on his woodblock prints in particular, and his techniques creating his works. Hokusai made his print designs with a brush and ink on paper, this design was then carved into a block of wood by a carver. Hokusai then applied ink to the wood surface, put a new piece of paper on top of the block, rubbed the back to the paper so that the design would transfer onto the paper. Color printing required one block of wood for each color, and hundreds of prints could be made using a single woodblock. Japanese woodblock prints were sold cheaply and were produced in mass quantities, and it was not until they caught the eye of artists abroad that Hokusai began to gain fame.
In exploring this lesson, students will:
- Understand the various steps and aspects of Hokusai's woodblock printmaking process.
- Examine and discover the subject matter portrayed in Hokusai's woodblock prints.
- Realize the revolutionary effects of printmaking on copying and distributing artwork.
This discovery will require students to:
- Look closely at the woodblock prints and make statements based on their observations.
- Practice printmaking techniques similar to Hokusai's, and create their own prints in the classroom.
Using this Resource:
- Visual arts teachers and their students will be interested in Hokusai's woodblock printmaking processes and techniques.
- Social studies teachers and their students will be interested in the subject matter portrayed in Hokusai's prints
For sample related classroom activities, download the PDFs available under Related Resources.
The objects in this lesson are just a beginning. We encourage you to to explore the Museum's online collection through this web source -- or even better, to visit the Museum and walk through the physical galleries -- to look for other objects that will provide further insights into Hokusai's woodblock prints.