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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2008 > Japanese woodblock prints on exhibit at Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College

Press Releases

Japanese woodblock prints on exhibit at Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College

June 3, 2008

“The Actor’s Image: The Japan-Virginia Society Collection of Ukiyo-e Prints” will be on display in Waddell Gallery at the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College until June 27.  Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. The campus is located at 1000 Harry Flood Byrd Highway in Sterling.

Featuring Kabuki theater and its famous actors, these 19th century woodblock prints offer a rich array of compelling images that invite viewers into the lively and fascinating world of Japanese art and theatre.

Kabuki first appeared in Japan during the late 1500s. Based on traditional tales of tragedy, romance and honorable behavior, Kabuki performances found a second vehicle for expression in the ukiyo-e paintings and prints of the Japanese Edo period (1615-1868).

Ukiyo-e woodblock prints celebrated the colorful, sensual, exciting and extravagant urban lifestyles of Japan’s Edo period. Kabuki plays and performers were of great interest to artists of the time. Portrait prints of famous actors were published to promote Kabuki performances and sold as souvenirs. These prints were in high demand and were such a pervasive presence in Japanese popular culture they even influenced contemporary fashions and lifestyles.

The ukiyo-e prints in the exhibit were all made by artists of the Utagawa school and date from around 1820 to 1865. They were presented to the Japan-Virginia Society by the Utagawaha Monjinkai, a group that supports the artists and programs of the Uytagawa school. The exhibition premiered at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is currently on a tour of the state. For more information, contact David Whipple at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 703-450-2531.

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site,