December 6, 2012Vol. 43, Issue 3

Japanese Woodblock Prints Find Home at The Turner

The Turner Print Museum recently received a generous gift of 15 Japanese art prints from a family of Chico State alums. The print collection, Tomikichiro Tokuriki’s “Fifteen Views of Kyoto,” was produced circa 1939 and is a complete portfolio in its original portfolio casing. It was given to Capt. Edward Jorgensen and his family during the U.S. occupation of Japan following World War II. The portfolio has been in the family’s possession since that time.

Many Jorgensen family members have graduated from Chico State: Thomas William Jorgensen (’68), Sandra Briggs-Jorgensen (’69), Joanne Jorgensen (’02), and Jeffrey Jorgensen (’12).

Tokuriki was a 12th-generation artist in his family. As a graduate of the Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting, he began a painting career and then a printmaking career as a proponent of both the Shin Hanga (new print) and the Sosaku Hanga (creative print) 20th-century print movements. He is considered one of major artists of these movements using the traditional woodblock printing technique but with a new vision and perspective in subject matter.

"These prints have been in our family for over three generations,” says Jeffrey. “We're happy to have them in a place where they will do the most good."

The Turner Print Collection has significant holdings of Japanese prints due to their personal significance for Janet Turner as a printmaker and their effect on the development of Western modern art. However,  Shin Hanga works are less represented in the current holdings. “Fifteen Views of Kyoto” enlarges the collection with original prints in very good condition. 

“The Turner is thankful an alumni family offered them as a donation, and they are gratefully received,” says Catherine Sullivan, curator of The Turner. “I, along with an acquisition advisory committee, review all potential donations to insure their suitability to the mission of the collection, and this donation is a perfect fit!”

—Cassandra Jones, Public Affairs and Publications