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Coming soon: Edo Pop

11 May 2017 by Andrew Bullock

Utagawa Kunichika. Fire Brigade Standard Bearer 1871: collection Frank Milner

Edo Pop is coming soon to the Lady Lever Art Gallery and we can’t wait.

The exhibition features 19th century Japanese wood block prints that explore tales of celebrity which wouldn’t seem out of place in the pages of today’s gossip magazines.

Edo (now Tokyo) was a wooden city filled with urban celebrities and fascinating stories which were depicted in these colourful Ukiyo-e wood block prints for the pleasure of Edo Pop fans.

Loved by the masses, bought for the price of a haircut and described by the Japanese Government of the 19th century as ‘trivial Edo things’; these prints are now considered to be outstanding examples of creativity and technical skill.

It’s hard to believe that the prints on display were hand made in their thousands so that 19th Century Edo Pop fans could have their favourite poster boy or girl on their wall.

On loan from local Art Historian and collector Frank Milner, the exhibition includes a beautiful Hokusai print from the same series as his famous image the Great Wave as well as the work of other leading print artists from the period.

Edo Pop is a free exhibition which opens on the 26 May and runs until  24 September. Whether you are into print-making, graphic and fine art, Japanese history or just enjoy a good story – we think you will love this exhibition.

So come and meet the urban celebrities, actors, sports champions, fashion icons and villains of 19th century Japan and discover the world of Edo Pop.

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