from sketch to woodblock print

From Sketch to Woodblock Print in the Volkenkunde Depot

Last year Daan Kok, Curator Japan & Korea of the National Museum of World Cultures (Volkenkunde) and SJA boardmember, led us through the collaborative process of the production of woodblock prints. Due to the great number of members that expressed their interest in the workshop and the limited capacity in the depot, the SJA will organize another workshop on 8 September 2023 from 15:00 to 16:30.

In the depot of the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden we will explore the production process of Japanese woodblock prints and the techniques that are applied in that process. Daan Kok will show us objects from the collection of Museum Volkenkunde such as preparatory sketches by Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, Kunisada, and Kyōsai, sets of printing blocks, the tools to cut these, printing tools, and the final woodblock prints, all from the collection of Museum of Volkenkunde. 

Museum Volkenkunde houses a unique collection of drawings and sketches by famous ukiyo-e print designers of the Edo and Meiji period such as Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Kawanabe Kyōsai, Katsushika Hokusai, and various others. Such a sizeable collection (c. 4.000 items) of original manuscript works is very rare. The items in this collection range from very rough preliminary sketches to finely detailed drawings that constitute one of the last steps before publication in print. These works, being crafted by renowned designers of their time, show their supreme skill with brush and ink, the nuance of which is inevitably slightly lost in the process of reworking an original design into a woodblock print intended for mass production and consumption. The drawings also provide a unique insight into the daily practice of delivering illustrations for points and book illustrations, and the role of preparatory drawings in the training of pupils. 

This event presents a unique chance to gain more insight in the production of Japanese woodblock prints and to see objects from the collection that are rarely shown to the public. The event will take place in the museum depot, which is otherwise not accessible to the public. There is a maximum capacity of 15 participants.

Location and time: