Work shown in this gallery is all made by folks who live or have lived in Lyme, NH or Thetford, VT. This means work you will find in this art gallery is super local. It means folks who have work here share something significant, we are connected through qualities of this particular part of the Upper Valley, we are connected by place. Please visit. Its quite wonderful and unexpected how diverse such an assemblage of voices proves to be.
We have one exception to our rule of residency for the gallery and this is our offering of kabuki actor prints by the Japanese print designer Utagawa Kunisada (1789 - 1865).
Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III) was a master of the Japanese ukiyo-e genre. During his lifetime his popularity and success exceeded that of print designers more familiar to us today such as Hokusai and Hiroshige. Recent scholarship is leading to a re-discovery of the excellence of his work but the market has not yet caught up. This will not be an overnight thing, the level of his production (he led the dominant Utagawa school for over four decades) was prodigious.
The output of the ukiyo-e art industry in its heyday (180 years ago) was impressive If you imagine each of the great print designers, artists such as Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro, you can picture many mountains that have been climbed, volumes of scholarship exploring all manner of themes related to these artists. The largest of them all, the one with the most print production, the greatest number of students, the most wealth earned from his art? this was Kunisada, aka Toyokuni III, And as a mountain he and his work remain largely unexplored.
A combination of an advanced aesthetic, bold colors, and widespread distribution and availability led Western writers and art critics, sharers of the stories of the ukiyo-e prints they were discovering in Japan to call his work “decadent”. Arriving in Japan and finding his prints everywhere they labeled him “undistinguished”. As recently as 1960 a major scholar of ukiyo-e prints described his work as “repellent to us, mainly because of spectacular or sensational subjects with color to match”. (Hillier, The Japanese Print, A New Approach, Tuttle Press, 1960)
The result? Wonderful Kunisada prints with pristine brilliant color are obtainable 180 years after they were made at very affordable prices. An important part of our gallery effort is making these prints available, and offering them framed beautifully behind museum glass so they can function as investments to be enjoyed and learned from every day.
Visit our Kunisada page to learn more of this fascinating artist, of recent scholarship that is beginning to reveal the story of his art, and of our own effort to collect, display, and offer for purchase select treasures of his art production.
GALLERY DIRECTOR - Matt Brown
To purchase a gift certificate get in touch by using the form above, or give us a call.
1 Main St, Lyme, New Hampshire 03768, United States
Select postings about upcoming exhibitions, articles about our artists, and special events.
ARTISTS from AWAY. Leasing display space for special exhibits of work by folks who don't meet our local rule is something we have discussed. If you are interested, contact Matt (CONTACT button above).