The Williamsburg Regional Library is hosting a Japanese Woodcuts exhibit in the Stryker Center now through Feb. 14.
“Japanese woodblock prints were enormously influential on the work of the impressionists, particularly Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir,” said Betsy Fowler, director of the Williamsburg Regional Library. “I’ve always loved the quality of the lines and subtle coloring of these works, particularly some of the night scenes, which feature a beautiful, rich dark blue ink.”
Rebecca Boyokin Hornsby, Fowler’s mother-in-law, started collecting art while visiting her husband who was stationed in Japan after World War II.
The collections are from Fowler, Hornsby and Paula Goodman Koz, an artist, and feature more than 40 pieces from the mid-19th century to the 1960s.
“To create the prints, artists traditionally would draw an image onto a thin piece of paper that would then be applied to a block of wood,” according to the news release. “Using the drawing’s outlines as a guide, the artist would carve the image into the surface of the wood, and then apply ink to the relief.”
The artist would draw an image, use it as a template to carve out a block of wood and then paint the wood with ink to imprint the block on another piece of paper.
The artist would press the inked woodblock on a piece of paper for the final piece and each color requires a separate woodblock.
In addition, the exhibit features traditional kimonos and attendees can create their own stamped postcards, use Japanese woodblock-themed adult coloring books, watch old Japanese movie clips and take a selfie with Mount Fuji.
The original Japanese woodcuts exhibit is at the Stryker Center, 412 N Boundary St., and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.