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Chiura Obata

(1885-1975)

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Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was a well-known Japanese-American artist who designed a series of 35 woodblock prints in 1930. Although titled the World Landscape Series, the majority of the prints are views of Yosemite National Park in California. The prints were published in limited editions of 100 by the Takamizawa Print Works in Japan. Obata oversaw the process of translating his watercolors into woodblock prints, a process that proved very demanding both in the carving and the printing. Some of his designs required as many as 160 separate impressions. The resulting woodblock prints look remarkably similar to Obata's watercolors, with lines like sumi-e brush strokes and areas of delicately layered color.