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ExhibitionGifts of the Ebb Tide: The Sea in Japanese Prints

Jun 8–Sep 1, 2013

print of the sea

The sea is pervasive in the imagery of Japan—after all, it is an island nation. Kitagawa Utamaro’s Gifts of the Ebb Tide, also called The Shell Book, is famous among Japanese paeans to the sea and its bounty. This short, exquisite book of only eight illustrated pages recounts a visit to the tide pools near Edo by seven poets, who later organized other writers to create thirty-six poems that were published on pages combining elegant calligraphy and delicately printed images of shells and seaweed. To celebrate the acquisition of an early impression of the book, the museum will place it on view with other Japanese prints from the collection that feature the sea.