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Craftsmanship and Wit Modern: Japanese Prints from the Carol and Seymour Haber Collection

This fall, the Museum will celebrate the legacy of Carol (1932–2015) and Seymour Haber (1929–2012), longtime friends of and donors to the Portland Art Museum. Drawn exclusively from gifts and promised gifts from the Habers, this exhibition explores their personal vision and brilliant, insightful taste for Japanese modern art.

The Habers were astute connoisseurs of fine craftsmanship, which led them to assemble an impressively diverse collection of prints, books, and ceramics by contemporary Japanese artists. They loved to host visiting artists from Japan, and often had wonderful anecdotes about how they acquired their works. The selection presented here includes the work of internationally renowned masters, such as Munakata Shikō, whose bold monochrome woodblock prints redefined the possibilities of that time-honored process, and Hamaguchi Yōzō, whose meticulous mezzotints inspired an entire generation to take up that demanding technique. Other artists, less well known in the West but equally fascinating, include Ida Shōichi, a conceptual artist known for his innovative printmaking processes, and Kurosaki Akira, whose vividly colored abstractions often disguise a naughty sense of humor. The collection reveals an abiding attraction to rich color and textures, and to works with a sense of humor, charm, and whimsy.

****Also on view: "Kingdom Animalia: Animals in Print from Dürer to Picasso" (December 2, 2017 - May 13, 2018)

Furry, fierce, majestic, or sublime, animals have been featured in the graphic arts since the advent of printmaking. Mammals, fish, reptiles, and birds act as rich allegorical symbols, precise scientific specimens, and vehicles for pure formal expression. Drawn from the Museum’s collection, this exhibition offers a 500-year sampling of the wide-ranging depiction of the kingdom Animalia in prints, drawings, and posters, from the playful to the ferocious. Artists as diverse as Albrecht Dürer, John James Audubon, Eugène Delacroix, and Pablo Picasso are joined by regional favorites Beth Van Hoesen and Frank Boyden, among others, in this lively exploration of artful animals.


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