Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Japanese Prints from 'The Alice' Collection

“Warriors & Entertainers”, an exhibition of Japanese Woodblock Prints @ The Alice T. Miner Museum in Chazy, NY, runs through October 25, 2008. Nearly all of the prints are ukiyo-e, “pictures of the floating world,” dating from about 1700 through the late 1860s, featuring actors, courtesans and warriors. These prints, exhibited for the first time, originated primarily from Edo (Tokyo), with Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya also represented. The collection was acquired by Alice T. Miner in the 1920s.

Kikugawa Eizan (1787-1867) Teahouse
waitress walking through the snow.

Totoya Hokkei (1780-1850)
Saito Oniwakamaru subduing a giant carp.

On Saturday, July 12 the exhibit opened with great fanfare! The day featured a lecture by David Waterhouse, Emeritus Professor in the Department of East Asia Studies at the University of Toronto entitled, "Momentary Pleasures: Glimpses of Old Japan from The Alice T. Miner Collection." Mr. Waterhouse also wrote an essay for the exhibit catalog and helped to select the prints from our collection of over 100 images.

All Photos: PHOTOPIA/Shaun Heffernan
Docent - Janet Brendler, David Waterhouse and Joseph Burke

Although it was a very warm and humid day, we had a capacity audience for the lecture as well as an enthusiastic turnout for the reception. The opportunity to view prints of this caliber in Northern New York is rare indeed!

The Lecture Audience

The Alice staff and maintenance crew transformed the Weaving Room into a lovely exhibit space to display the prints, hiding four windows and adding lighting for the center of the room to illuminate display cases, which hold two large, stunning prints. The Curators of the exhibit were Board Members Helen Allan and Marguerite Eisinger.

The Exhibit Room

Guests were greeted and guided by a wonderful group of docents stationed throughout the museum. Without our dedicated group of docents these events simply would not be possible. I hope readers will humor me as I thank them by name: Virginia Brady, Janet & George Brendler, Lynda Cote, Tia Duffy, Seana Remillard, Jackie Sabourin, and Jaimie Trautman. Docents assisted by framing and hanging the prints, addressing envelopes, and performing myriad tasks on opening day. Many of The Alice Board Members were also a great help by distributing posters throughout the area and helping at the opening.

Docent Cynthia (Tia) Duffy at her post!

This is the first event of its kind for the museum. The Alice T. Miner Colonial Collection Board and Trustees have been planning the exhibit for over three years. The Board underwrote "Warriors & Entertainers" in order to introduce this collection of prints to the public. We were all quite excited to finally usher in our guests to enjoy these works of art that Alice Miner collected so long ago!

Joseph C. Burke - Board Member & Joan T. Burke - Board Chair
of The Alice T. Miner Colonial Collection

Guests enjoying the food...

...and reading the catalog that accompanies the
"Warriors & Entertainers" exhibit.

If you would like to come to The Alice to experience the prints for yourself, kindly coordinate your arrival to coincide with our tour times: Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 am, noon and 2:00 pm. (If you arrive in between these times we may be on a tour and might not be free to answer the door.) A beautiful catalog of the exhibit is available for sale at The Alice for $10 including tax. The exhibit will be open until October 25.

Docent - Lynda Cote, Curatorial Assistant - Stephanie Pfaff,
and Director/Curator - Amanda Palmer


  1. The opening was wonderful and the exhibit is not to be missed. I love the pictures in the post!

  2. Great Blog, Amanda. The prints are amazing and I am glad to see everyone having a good time at the opening. Hope all is well and that you are having a good week!

  3. Just reviewed the blogs, great work! Excellent writing, photos and layout. I'm impressed with the functionality of the web design as well.

    Especially enjoyable to learn more about Alice herself. The museum development and the background of the ukiyoe show are also intriguing, and you've made fine use of photos of the collection.

    Altogether, they add a dimension to the website that I'm sure will generate new interest in the museum. I look forward to checking in often.