From: University of Michigan - Museum of Art
10/15/2016 - 1/29/2017
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1354
Kabuki actors were superstars in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japan. They were admired by passionate fans with an insatiable appetite for images of them, fed by a publishing industry that mass-produced colorful woodblock prints of actors on stage that could be cheaply purchased as souvenirs of or substitutes for a theater experience. Japanese Prints of Kabuki Theater from the Collection of the University of Michigan Museum of Art presents a selection of these dramatic prints that connected fans to their idols, including off- or backstage portrayals that satisfied fans' voyeuristic curiosity about their favorite actors' lives, fantasy scenes of actors in unlikely groupings, and even death portraits of especially famous actors.