Monday, May 16, 2016
The Japonisme Prints of Bertha Lum
In 1903, she married and honeymooned in Japan. She returned to the US and made several woodblock prints which clearly show the influence of both French impressionism and ukiyo-e. Lum made subsequent trips to Japan in 1907 and 1911, primarily to learn more about Japanese printmaking. She was able to study carving in the workshop of Bonkotsu Igami.
Lum's prints combine flowing, curvillinear Art-Nouveau lines with flat colorful sections that harken back to 19th century ukiyo-e. The subject of her work ranges from children to landscapes to mysterious figures from Asian folklore and legend. Lum envisioned Asia as an exotic, magical place full of lantern light, swirling smoke, and smiling women.
Silver medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition
Her work received honors in Rome, Paris and Portugal
Asiatic Society of Japan
California Society of Etchers (now the California Society of Printmakers)
Print Makers Society of California