After the Floating World:

The Enduring Art of Japanese Woodblock Prints

Images carved onto wooden blocks used to create colorful prints on paper are among the most famous Japanese art forms. These prints, popular in Japan from the 17th through the 19th centuries, are known as Ukiyo-e, which translates as “pictures from the floating world.” Ukiyo-e artists produced prints in a variety of subject matter including actors in the Kabuki theater, female portraiture, folktales, and mythology and landscapes.

Organized from the collections of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, this exhibition focuses on two artists: Torii Kiyotada VII (1875-1941) and Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950). These printmakers were at the forefront of the early 20th century evolution of the Ukiyo-e tradition into a style known as Shin Hanga that incorporated stylistic elements from the West. Kiyotada VII was born into a family with a long tradition of producing theatrical images, and his prints of Kabuki actors illustrate the rich tradition of Japanese theater. Yoshida (1876-1950) was a popular artist both in Japan and in the United States whose extensive world travels resulted in evocative prints of familiar landmarks such as Mt. Fuji, the Taj Mahal, the Acropolis, and Niagara Falls.

Programming and Events:

An Evening of Art and Performance
Friday, February 17 | 5:30-10 pm

Join us for An Evening of Art and Performance as we celebrate the opening of After the Floating World and The Unsettled Lens with printmaking demonstrations, in-gallery performances, poetry, and much more!

DROP-IN ART (All ages)
Styrofoam Block Printing | Saturday, February 18 | 1-4 pm
Spring Stamping | Saturday, March 25 | 1-4 pm
Gyotaku Printing | Saturday, April 8 | 1-4 pm |
Free with admission

TINY TUESDAYS
Printmaking for Littles | Tuesday, February 21 | 10 am-12 pm
Geared towards ages 2-5 with a parent or caregiver. Free with admission, no advance registration is required. 

FAMILY WORKSHOP
Experiments in Printmaking |Saturday, February 25 | 10 am-12 pm |Ages 6-10 + adult
Pre-registration required. 

MAKING MEMORIES
Monday, February 27 | 10:30 am and 2 pm
Designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and their caregivers or loved ones.
Free, registration required. Call (405) 278-8221 for more information or to sign up.

SONIC FREE FAMILY DAY: VISUAL ARTS AND PERFORMANCE
Sunday, April 9 | 12-5 pm
Enjoy free admission and a host of hands-on art activities and experiences throughout the entire Museum. Featuring kid-friendly performances throughout the galleries and in the Samuel Roberts Noble Theater.

FRIENDS’ LECTURE
“Japanese Printmaking: History, Techniques, Motifs,” Dr. Andreas Marks
Wednesday, April 26 | 6 pm
Free for Members | $5 for Non-Members. 

GROUP EXHIBITION TOURS
Reservations required. Group rate and tour guides are available.
Call (405) 278-8213 for more information.


Torii Kiyotada VII (Japanese, 1875–1941). An actor portraying Danshici Kurobei in the play ‘Natsu matsuri’, October 1940. Woodblock print. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Albert J. Kirkpatrick, 1969.080.
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