Rediscovered Karhu woodblock

2019.07.07(Sun)

On an unusual time frame  I try to keep everyone informed as to what is going on in my gallery and in our various activities in connection with our art business. Often people write to me telling how much they enjoy the news that I relay, keeping them informed as to what an interesting time I am having while promulgating Japanese art all around the world.

Suddenly it is July!!!  But, that is how surprised I feel every month when I tear the previous month off the calendar in my office.  Where have the months gone I ask myself, and of course, like everyone else, the older I get the faster the months fly by. The month of June was an international one for me; first it took me to Kazakhstan, where during my visit, the country decided to change the spelling of its name to “Qazaqstan”...that’s the Cyrillic alphabet for ya!   My goal of establishing a new venue for Japanese prints was fulfilled and now all we have to do is wait and see if the Qazaqis like Japanese prints as much as we hope they do.

This was Eiji’s first trip with me in a long time; and next we went to Zurich. One of my earliest clients, as early as the 70s, was a great fan of Japanese prints. After his passing he left his estate to his nephew who, it seems, would rather have money to build a new home than have fine prints on his walls. Many of these prints have never been framed and are in pristine condition. After several careful examinations of his entire collection,  we managed to re-acquire those pieces which we knew would be popular with our present clients.  Some of them are early Karhu pieces from the time of the beginning The Tolman Collection.  At the end of this letter you will find about a dozen pieces that may have escaped you at the time they were made, and now you will have a second chance at them.

After Zurich, we visited an old friend of many years who has amassed an amazing collection of Japanese art from my gallery. He is on the verge of dismantling his collection of works and becoming a dealer in Amsterdam where Japanese prints are popular though there is no gallery specializing in these fine works of art there. Amsterdam is full of life and we welcomed the chance to enjoy the city.

From Europe we went to New York to help celebrate the 60th birthday of Allison, who looks the same to me as she did in her 30s-40s-and 50s.  Her two parties observing her kanreki, a major event in one’s life (according to Chinese and Japanese custom) are beyond anyone’s imagination.  With the help of her sister, Hilary, an imaginative, diligent and experienced party giver, the first was held for her intimate personal friends  on  terrace of one of them,  a 26th floor penthouse's wrap-around terrace in the middle of Manhattan. The second, of a more professional nature, included a sit-down dinner for 50 of the creme de la creme of the Japanese art world of New York. I was proud and pleased to hear wonderful praise of my daughter by her peers. I enjoyed New York for a few days and then it was time to come back to Tokyo.

Doing my best to keep The Tolman Collection going, I have invited my favorite grandson - as we josh, because he is my only  grandson- to come to Tokyo for the summer and learn everything about kappa-zuri prints fromTakahashi Hiromitsu who may be the last of the stencil printmakers. We were able to stop in Las Vegas and Los Angeles to see friends and enjoy the trip back from there to Tokyo, and here we are.

Please have a look at the Karhu prints following and see if there is something that may interest you. Let us know.


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