The artists represented in the gallery are all past or present residents of Lyme, NH or Thetford, VT. This means the work in this art gallery is made locally, either here in Lyme, across the river in neighboring Thetford, or in a place where the makers carry on a spirit of connection to these two small towns, a spirit learned while living here. Please stop in; we think you'll be pleased with the wonderful and diverse voices of the folks connected to this little part of our planet. Left, detail of print by Matt Brown.
We also feature kabuki actor prints by Japanese print designer Utagawa Kunisada (1789 - 1865).
Utagawa Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III) was a fascinating artist, an under-recognized master of the Japanese ukiyo-e genre. Hokusai made as many as 1,800 print designs in his long career. Kunisada? Estimates run over 30,000!
The history of the ukiyo-e art form continues to be a fertile arena for art historians. The output by the industry in its heyday (about one hundred years ago) stands as one of the greatest productions of beautiful art by any society in human history. Of the many mountains that have been explored and cherished by scholars and collectors over 150 years of research (Harunobu, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro, Kuniyoshi, Yoshitoshi) the largest of them all, Kunisada, aka Toyokuni III, remains largely unexplored. Back in the day Kunisada was the most successful, the most popular, the greatest output of work, the most students, the most wealth from his prints and paintings. Western writers, sharing the stories of the ukiyo-e prints they were discovering in the latter half of the 19th century, called his work “decadent”. Finding his prints ubiquitous they labeled him “undistinguished”. In recent time major writers on the genre have claimed his prints are “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? There are a lot of wonderful prints in great shape with brilliant color strong as when they were first made available at affordable prices.
Recent scholarship has begun to turn this around. Two books published in the early 1990’s started the trend:
What about Kunisada?, Jan van Doesburg, 1990,
Kunisada and His World, Sebastian Izzard, 1993.
Sarah Thompson’s exhibit at the MFA last fall with its accompanying catalogue is the event that opened for me appreciation of this artist. Other scholarship since the 1990’s includes work by: Sigeru Shindo, Ellis Tinios, and Andreas Marks.
Visit our Kunisada page for information and imagery of this fascinating artist!
GALLERY DIRECTOR - Matt Brown
If you'd like to purchase a gift certificate, please be in touch with us by using the form above, or call the gallery.
1 Main St, Lyme, New Hampshire 03768, United States
The gallery is regularly open on Fridays and Saturdays 11am- 6:00pm, or by appointment or by chance. If you're passing by and see our "open" flag flying, please stop in!
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ARTISTS AFAR: We are contemplating leasing display space for limited periods of time to folks who are not eligible for participation in this gallery along the lines described above. If you are interested, contact Matt using the CONTACT button above.
We are creating this gallery with an eye to its function helping us to see our world and our lives a little differently.
Looking at stuff folks have made, especially folks that live close to where we ourselves live and who share many of the same places and experiences we do, can expand our view of our world and our life.
During our open hours we plan to have someone here happy to chat with you. You don't have to come even close to thinking about buying something for us to be glad you came in.
There are other times you are welcome to stop in. This gallery is also a workspace. If you see lights on feel free to try the door. If Matt or someone else is here, feel free to enter and take a look.
A big part of being an artist or craftsperson is to participate in the joy of being part of the larger human conversation of interacting with tools and materials to make things. A sweet piece of this conversation is having others eavesdrop on one's activity. This happens when we show and share our work.
The exchange and conversation that surrounds our exchange of stuff is one of the joys of being human. This activity is a way we experience fellowship. We can see this in the giving and receiving of gifts; it is true also for the buying and selling most of us do every day.