Brewster Hanson (1923-2008) lived in Geneva Switzerland for more than fifty years working for Cargill, and travelled the globe on their behalf, initiating agricultural trade and opening and directing their international offices. He first collected Post-Impressionist paintings followed by Old Master prints, and came to Japanese woodblock prints relatively late in his collecting career when he received in 1984 a book on Hiroshige’s celebrated “53 Stations of the Tokaido Road.” He wrote many years later: “I could see that Hiroshige, together with his block cutters and master printers, would make noble companions to [my] old masters.” He commented that upon his early encounter with a particularly fine impression, “something lit up inside me.”
Perhaps due to his surroundings near Lake Geneva, he focused on landscape prints and particularly on UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE (1797-1858), amassing a major collection of exquisite quality. During his international travels while in Tokyo, London and New York, Hanson avidly searched out great prints and strove to complete several of the best-known landscape series, buying at important auctions and from established dealers. He did succeed in completing Hiroshige’s iconic “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road” and the “Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido” and several others, as well as acquire the most successful designs from rarer series.
This exhibition will include more than sixty of Hanson’s best prints and will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue. Highlights will include extremely fine impressions from the Eight Views of Omi series of ca. 1835 by HIROSHIGE, the most celebrated of which is “Karasaki Pine in Rain;” several fine prints from the “Great Waterfall” series of 1830 by KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849); eighteen of the “Great Fish” series by Hiroshige; the most coveted designs from “Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido Road” by HIROSHIGE and KEISAI EISEN (17901848); a complete deluxe set of Hiroshige’s “Wrestling Matches Between Mountains and Seas;” and many celebrated landscape triptychs including TSUKIOKA YOSHITOSHI’S (1839-92) definitive masterwork, “Fujiwara no Yasumasa Playing the Flute by Moonlight” of 1883.
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