Women Collectors of Japanese Prints: The 1909–14 Paris Expositions des estampes japonaises at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs

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Journal / Book Title

Collecting Prints, Posters, and Ephemera Perspectives in a Global World


Scholarly analysis of the French japoniste movement relies largely on the memoirs, private journals, and letters left by male artists, intellectuals, and businessmen such as Gaston Migeon, Raymond Koechlin, Tadamasa Hayashi, and Henri Cernuschi, who represented the collecting of Japanese prints, as an exclusive set of activities that took place among a small group of men behind closed doors. Such retrospective accounts, while nostalgic, have, I argue, falsely represented the Japanese print collecting world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by eliding the active role played by women collectors such as Florine Langweil, Louise-Marcelle Seure, Louise Curtis, and Mary A. Ainsworth, who also acquired and exchanged ukiyo-e prints. Analysis of archives from the Union Centrale des arts décoratifs, which acknowledge the participation of ten women in the six exhibits of Japanese prints held yearly from 1909-1914, serve as a basis for providing new models of female engagement with print collecting.

Book Publisher

Bloomsbury Visual Arts

Journal ISSN / Book ISBN


Book Editor(s)

Ruth Iskin and Britany Salsbury