Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Karasuma Gate
  • Clifton Karhu
    born: Worthington, Minnesota, United States ; died: Kyoto, Japan ; active: Japan
  • Karasuma Gate, 1989, Showa period (1926–1989)
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • color woodcut
  • Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 409 x 409 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 16 1/8 x 16 1/8 in
    Mat Dimensions: 25 x 20 in
  • Museum purchase: Lucy Shaw Schultz Fund
  • Not on display
  • 1990.0067
Label Text

Archive Label date unknown:
Clifton Karhu was born in the United States (Minnesota), but since he lives in Japan and designs traditional woodblock prints, his works typically are categorized as modern Japanese prints. However, in contrast to the historical practice of ukiyo-e, Karhu carves and prints the blocks himself rather than relying on artisans. Karhu creates nostalgic scenes of a bucolic Kyoto that no longer exists, if it ever did in quite the poetic terms in which he depicts it. With their bold outlines and luminescent colors, Karhu's prints are reminiscent of stained glass windows. Here he depicts the gate on Karasuma Street, one of the major thoroughfares that run north and south in Kyoto.