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A Message and Announcement for all the Clients of The Tolman Collection

We never know how people plan their schedules, but ours keeps on changing right before our very eyes - every day; But, flexibility seems to be the name of the game. At first, we thought that we would have a leisurely Karhu show in December but this idea had to be quickly adjusted due to a sudden request from the Conrad Hotel for another Shinoda show there from Dec 2 - 11. Well why not?

Originally I planned for Kiyo and me to leave early for our year-end-year-start vacation in Honolulu. we were to go first and see to the various local arrangements for our leisurely stay for everyone, in Hawaii. We've scheduled for the gallery staff, my family from New York, and other dear friends from all around the world to arrive in turn for their days with us in Kailua, and then leave as their other plans call for it. But, a Shinoda show cast a different shadow on our carefully planned event. I mean how much trouble could it be?

Oh, that is how it looked at first, but hold on. We really do believe in flexibility, and suddenly there was the reality of another unexpected Shinoda - Karhu show in Honolulu at Robyn Buntinfs wonderful gallery to please our Hawaiian clientele. Who could imagine all that? Welcome to the Tolman Collection and its gThe difficult we do every day, the impossible takes a bit longerh attitude.

For many of the gHow do you possibly do it?h crowd I can provide the answer immediately; It is called Eiji, Daisuke, Shin, Nori and Kiyo. Each one of my capable staff is able to carry on as if he alone is gThe Tolman Collection.h Here is how it goes - and without forfeiting our early bought, paid for; and un-negotiable tickets, the Karhu/Ryohei show is on now!

At our website, see what you like, and while keeping in mind that Mr. Karhu passed in 2007 and that what we are offering are special last pieces from his own estate, please also remember that after a lifetime of printing those fabulous views of "The Japan that may not always be here" that Ryohei has stopped printing and what we are showing is what is available. The selling prices are evidence of such limited works. Do not forget in the confusion of all this that this is also the time to order your Karhu calendars; anyone who has ever forgotten and comes around in January looking for one, and is told that they are all sold out will tell you that it happens only once.

Our Shinoda exhibition at the Conrad will indeed open on December 2nd and run until December 11th but it wonft be possible for Kiyo and me to help take that show down. We will have left on the 7th for Hawaii as we had originally planned; that show will be in the hands of Eiji, Daisuke, Nori and Shin who will be dividing their time between our Karhu/Ryohei show at our gallery and the Conrad exhibition for Toko. After that show is dismantled, Nori and Daisuke will leave for Hawaii. Eiji and Shin, writing his thesis for his MBA, will close our gallery on the originally planned December 20th date.

In the meantime our Hawaiian group will have finished our Shinoda/Karhu show there and start putting up the Christmas decorations for our other guests who will arrive from Tokyo, Portland, New York, Melbourne and Singapore.

This is wishing you A Merry Christmas, and A Happy New Year to all of you. ?See you back in Tokyo on Wednesday, January 11.


A small film about Toko
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Dear clients of The Tolman Collection,

We have been re-organizing our Shiba Daimon gallery to accommodate the works of our Imari gallery, various stocks of art not usually shown, we also had to find places to show the various resources of our gallery in Hong Kong which has now been closed. This required lots of moving and shifting of framed and unframed prints. During this busy time, three very large and very, very heavy Shinoda paintings fell on me, breaking several ribs. But being a tough old guy that I am, I have reverted to my spunky self after only two weeks.

Now, the gallery is getting to look great and since it is almost finished we will hold an open house weekend and invite you all to come and see it and will stage an exhibition of prints & original works of Kuroda Shigeki.

Sometimes known as "the bicycle and umbrella artist.h Kuroda Shigeki (b. 1952) has worked his theme of those objects for 40 years and is represented in so many collections. In our world, helping clients build their collections we have noticed that at certain times there are artists whom everyone feels must also be included in a collection no matter what they concentrate on. It is felt that if they donft have a Kuroda print, then there is something missing.

Fortunately for everyone, Kurodafs carefully crafted pieces are among the most inexpensive that we offer. Perhaps that is part of the reason that no matter what artists works people collect, they also ask to see our range of "bicycles and umbrellas" so that they can fit one of them into their collections, too. Because of the reasonable prices of the extremely jolly and appealing works that Kuroda-san releases. Those who are looking for suitable pieces to bestow on their friends and relatives when they go on home leave, like Kuroda

In the course of the above-mentioned rib-splitting gallery re-organization we gcame uponh all sorts of gI wonder where those Kuroda pieces wenth discoveries. We unearthed scores of those little treasures and later in a discussion with the artist decided to feature more than 100 different works in our large exhibition room and encourage people to have a treasure hunt seeking the Kuroda of their dreams. So, in addition to our own carefully kept prints we have asked the artist to bring his new things and you are welcome to add to your knowledge of how the print world works and maybe also take care of your next home leave duties at the same time.

Although I promise not to show my scars from those heavy Shinoda paintings that fell on me, clients might worry that they could hear more about my encounter with the paintings than they wish.

Norman H. Tolman


Hiromitsu - the last of the Kappa-zuri masters

Hiromitsufs work echoes Japanese tradition from every angle -its subject matter - The Kabuki, (Japanfs Grand Opera) - its special method of expression - Kappa-zuri, (a stencil printing process known and practiced by few,) and even the very paper (Narashima-washi) all of which allow imaginative stories of Japanfs cultural past to be depicted in all its glorious colors which offer a Japan to the world that seems unattainable to others.

Each of the limited edition prints, the delight of collectors, which are hand- printed by only the artist himself and not by a workshop of printers who are unable to bring to life what only the artist himself can, elevates even the simplest print to the role of wonderful treasure.

Hiromitsu, 56, is now an internationally recognized artist, well-known to collectors all around the world. But somehow it is different in Japan. Here, by strange rules of strict institutions with out-moded standards, this outstanding talented artist is not allowed to be considered a print artist. I have long wondered into which category he should be assigned for his special work, certainly not as a painter, but as a special kind of printer. ?My memory has been tweaked to remind me of a similar situation involving the great Mori Yoshitoshi (1898 -1992) who suffered the same exclusive policy, making his work seem something other than a Japanese print. ?Morifs works swept the world without the backing of any art group, with no assistance or help in defining just what it was that he was actually producing.

I hope that the growing attention being given on the international level to this fine artist Hiromitsu, without any assistance from demanding art groups will earn him even further attention by Japanese art lovers who are growing braver and braver learning about these wonderful kappa-zuri works as time goes by.

Eiji Nagao, Senior Adviser, The Tolman Collection

Dear Friends and Clients of The Tolman Collection

For many years our company has been known as the source of the finest Japanese prints made by innovative, creative and unique artists. Most people who collect fine contemporary Japanese prints have learned about them from our gallery and we have been the place to come to get started collecting.

From time to time our artists, such as Toko Shinoda, Imamura Yoshio, and Nakazawa Shin'ichi have also bought forth unique original pieces. Since that has been the case for around 40 years, one supposes that our clients and other people who read our various ads and announcements would be surprised to receive information about an artist who only paints original oil paintings.

Emi Uchida is just such a person. We have been handling her work for the last several years and have sold every piece of hers that comes our way, therefore we have not been required to do so much publicity to promote it. By way of explanation I can tell you that we have sold her pieces at exhibitions in Santa Fe, Brussels, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York. Since she is a painter we seldom have any of her work left from the international shows we have joined.

Recently we have acquired another dozen of her new paintings which we will offer for sale on March 3 which just happens to be Hina Matsuri. Emi is a young and creative person and her works look like no other artistfs. As you will see for yourselves, these are fine pleasing works. ?Please come to meet the artist at our Shiba Daimon gallery on Thursday, March 3, from 5 - 8 and if you canft make it at that time they will be on exhibit until Sunday, March 13 at regular gallery hours. You are welcome to bring (or send) your friends who are interested in fine new art. The photos of the paintings were sent to us by the artist but they somehow fail to express the full beauty and freshness of the paintings themselves.

Norman H. Tolman

Endo Susumufs newest prints..a wonderful breath of fresh air with every viewing

In our busy gallery we handle works by some four dozen artists - there are artists from a wide scale of ages from very young - Saito Noriko is 40 - to quite old - Shinoda Toko is 103 - and Emi Uchida isnft telling her age. The works range broadly in size and shape, mode and style, and are made by various processes and techniques. I think that one can say that it is impossible to visit our gallery and examine what we have for sale without finding something that appeals. Some of the works are very demanding and require deep contemplation, others are playful and quickly bring a smile, but the works that are the most comfortable for everyone to look at repeatedly are probably the lithographs of Endo Susumu whose soft and ?soothing colors create a sense of peace and quiet that is not to be found in the works of our other artists.?

Endo Senseifs lithographic technique and his amazing color selection command the viewers attention, the editions are pulled in limited numbers of only 75, the printing is perfectly executed, and their price reasonable. ?Anyone who is building a collection should contemplate a composition of Mr. Endo (b. 1933.) His works are widely collected and belong in your collection, too.

We are so excited about having acquired a large amount of Endofs recent works that we will be showing them in a separate part of our gallery while our February sale goes on. None of his works will be on sale, but all are FOR sale.


  Dear clients of the Tolman Collection,

As you may have learned from reading our various emails, there have been some big changes made in The Tolman Collection. I have closed our Hong Kong gallery; this is an attempt to concentrate on our main business, the selling of contemporary Japanese prints and paintings. In order to be able to devote the proper amount of attention to this I have also decided to close our Imari Gallery, near Atago Jinja. ?

From now, until the close of business on Wednesday, February 24th, we will be dedicated to shutting that gallery down. There will be price reductions on the objects for sale in that gallery, further information about that is available at +81 3 3434 1300 or through our website - http://www.tolmantokyo.com/Tolman%20Private%20Collection/index.html.?

Carrying on various matters that interested me during these last few years has been a pleasant task, but in order to assure our place as leading publishers of contemporary Japanese prints, and their proper distribution all around the world, I have chosen to focus on just those things. With a certain amount of effort I plan some re-organization of our Shiba Daimon gallery.?

Under separate cover you have already received information about our 40%-off ?sale of framed prints; I hope you will avail yourself of this offer, the success of which should allow us to offer more space at Shiba Daimon to properly present the works we have for sale.?

Norman H. Tolman


Dear friends and clients of the Tolman Collection,

Clifton Karhu and his stellar woodblock prints lit up the end of the season each year at the Tolman Collection for more than 30 years. ?His new prints for the following year were released at the end of each year, and the publication of his fun-filled calendars brought the season to its close. ?With the imaginative planning of Lois Karhu who selected appropriate works of her husbandfs remaining works we still have new calendars to offer every year and we are always surprised pleasantly at how popular these calendars are, right up to this time. ?You can still order them and have them in time for Christmas stocking stuffers, and other forms of year-end gift giving, and of course for your own use. Everyone we know has a special place.

The availability of Karhufs very popular woodblock prints is a different matter. ?His works sold out regularly and we have had a hard time coming up with enough prints to make a proper print show. But this year we have gathered a few more than usual, and are happy to be able to offer a few acquired during the year for sale. Following are images of those pieces now available. They are now on sale and will be shipped to you from Tokyo at our expense as part of the holiday spirit. If you see something that brings you remind back to your Tokyo days, be sure to get in touch with us as soon as you can since we only have single copies of each of them.

All good wishes to everyone for the rest of this year and of course for the next year, too.

Norman Tolman



Message from Norman Tolman

March marked the publication of our latest portfolio, Hope - Aspiration in the Abstract. This portfolio was undertaken at a time when Japan was attempting to recover from all of the disasters of 2011 and I felt that my artists needed a project based on optimism, and also wanted to provide the perfect item for those clients who yearned to help the artists. The goal of my gallery is always to show the development of contemporary Japanese art at specific moments in time and history. In discussions commissioning the works for the portfolio, I tried to generate inspiration for the artists to transcribe their feelings for hope, in an abstract form, since they are universally renowned for such endeavors.

Based on the premise of hope for the future, the nine prints, to be sold in a set in editions of only 70, showcases both the talent and carefully-honed technical prowess of our eight artists. Those who acquire one will own a special limited-edition document of Japanese art in 2012, as the Japanese people move forward after one of the worst years in Japanfs recent history. The artists participating in this portfolio are all known to you and are - Hasegawa, Nagai, Tsubota, Imamura, Goto, Nakazawa, Tamekane, and Zhou who is a new face.

Please contact us at tc@tolmantokyo.com for more information about our upcoming events, to order your copy of the portfolio shown here, or to inquire about any of the works on our ever-evolving website which may have caught your eye.

We welcome inquiries concerning availability and price.

Nagai Kenji
CL-12 Hope
Tsubota Masahiko
Stroking Dot Gold
Tsubota Masahiko
Dot Stroking Red
Hasegawa Yuichi
Full of Hope
Towards a Sparkling Future
Tamekane Yoshikatsu
Inextinguishable Flame
Nakazawa Shin'ichi
Goto Hidehiko
Silent Light

Imamura Yoshio
Hope Rejuvenation

Zhou Hao


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