Arthur Wesley Dow, 1857-1922

Snowy Peak, Los Angeles

linoleum cut, ca. 1911

9.6 by 14.5 cm

In 1892 Dow began experimenting with woodblock prints, carving and printing his own small-format works; he was likely the first American to try his hand at color woodblock printing. But unlike the Japanese method which involves separate craftsmen to carve and print the blocks, Dow relished handling each step himself. Rather than focus on the mechanical reproduction of a given image, Dow was interested in the creative opportunity each step allowed; in particular regarding the manipulation of color. In 1895, Ernest Fenollosa (1853-1908), the illustrious curator of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (where Dow had been working as an assistant), mounted an exhibition of Dow's prints, The Ipswich Prints, in a corridor at the MFA and wrote an introduction in the small exhibition catalogue that discussed Japanese techniques and their relevance to Western art. Using only fifteen designs, Dow created two hundred variations in color. The following year, The Ipswich Prints were exhibited in San Francisco at the Vickery Gallery, the same gallery that represented Helen Hyde (1868-1919). In 1903 Dow met Hyde at her home and studio in Tokyo where she told him it was the Ipswich Prints show that inspired her to become a printmaker.

Chazen Museum of Art, Color Woodcut International, 2006, p. 32

Katherine Martin, Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part Three - The International Perspective, New York: Scholten Japanese Art, 2008, no. 2

The Estate of Arthur Wesley Dow



Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
May 6, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475