One Hundred Views of the Moon
We recently had the pleasure of hanging a few genuine Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the 19th century, and I'm so grateful to be able to show them to you.
These are from a series called One Hundred Views of the Moon by noted artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.
The subjects are drawn from various sources in Japanese and Chinese history and literature, Kabuki and Noh theatre, and even contemporary Tokyo, linked only by the presence of the moon in each print. The creation of mood according to the phase of the moon was exploited for its poetic and expressive possibilities. This was the most successful and still the most famous of Yoshitoshi’s print series. People would queue before dawn to buy each new design and still find the edition sold out.
Yes, you read that right... there was a time when Japanese prints were as coveted as concert tickets.
The homeowners had fallen in love with one of the prints years ago (I believe it was the one on the left) and then slowly added to their collection as more of the series became available.
They also had a book about the prints, which they shared with us while we were visiting.
When we compared the homeowners' copy with the one in the book, we noticed that the samurai on the left had lost the purple colors from his trousers. You could still see the pattern in the framed print, but it was very faded. I didn't realize that the colors in these prints were so fugitive. However, I actually think it improved the image, because the purple design was rather busy. In the homeowners' version, the main focus was on the blue of the sky.
We hung another samurai print from the same series nearby. I'm also sharing the Wikipedia version so you can see the wonderfully expressive quality of the warrior's pose.
We also installed a few pieces in their home office, which had an equestrian theme. I really enjoyed these vintage images from Oregon. I always think of Oregon as a rainforest, but of course, Eastern Oregon has a much drier terrain.
The homeowners also had these charming portraits of their beloved horse.
I always enjoy seeing the interesting pieces that people acquire over the years. If you've got a cherished collection that needs to be handled with care, we'll be happy to help.
This past Christmas, we showed off a stairwell gallery wall with an old-fashioned, sentimental theme, Now that the new year has arrived, it's time for a more contemporary take on a mosaic art layout with these awesome concert posters.
It's hard to get a feel for these on the small screen, but they were incredible examples of the genre and really enjoyable to see together in one collection. I snapped a closeup of the one on the above left because it's the first art I've seen in a long time that's genuinely unsettling when you really contemplate it. (The top of the poster says, "She waits for a new face." Ooky spooky!)
This was a nice mix of vintage rock concert posters for bands from the eighties and nineties up through today, and the homeowners already had a marvelous layout for them. I'm not going to spoil the surprise by showing you their whole collage yet... but here's a sneak preview. They had the design laid out on an office floor, so we immediately started cutting templates for the layout.
I snapped a few more photos of my favorites. This takes me right back to being eighteen again and frantically dialing the ticket seller's hotline to score tickets for the HFStival. (That was before ordering online was a thing, and you had to just keep redialing until you didn't get a busy signal. Good times.)
The middle poster isn't for a band. It's a movie poster; but the first rule about that movie is that you don't talk about that movie. 😉🧼
As I cut the paper templates and gave the frames a quick dusting, Arthur began to lay out the wall. Putting up the paper templates can take quite a while; it's usually two-thirds of the installation time because everything needs to be perfect before we begin to put up the posters.
At last we were ready for the magical part: seeing the clients' vision come together on the wall.
I really liked the layout they had come up with. As one of the clients said, a good arrangement can make even the weaker pieces seem more compelling because they become part of a larger whole. The "Smashing Pumpkins" poster I showed earlier was the example he pointed out.
It was a little bland on its own (perhaps a little too much white space on the edges) but when placed in the bottom left corner of the collage, it flowed naturally up toward the other posters and gave a lifting effect.
This wall definitely took an entire day to hang, so I took the final pics at night in poor lighting, but they're still incredible.
After we installed the mosaic layout, we helped the clients find a place for their two favorite posters from the collection, which advertised Def Leppard and Nine Inch Nails.
I think they had intended to hang these separately, but when we set them side by side, I could immediately feel the sparks fly between these pieces. They both have a similar intensity, yet they are different enough for each of them to hold their own. We put these in a main hallway on the way to one of the homeowners' offices, so she could see it every day on her way to telework.
I say this every time, but... I think this is my favorite new project.
However, the reason I love my job is that amazing new art is always waiting right around the corner.
Perhaps you have a cherished collection that you'd like to showcase? If so, we would be thrilled to help with placement and installation.
A Great Big Splash of Color for 2023
Happy New Year!
Since we're embarking on a brave new era (and perhaps feeling the effects of too much sparkling cider) I thought it would be a good time to share this wonderful collection of vintage Champagne posters which we hung recently in a local home.
Look at the color on this pretty lady.
When our client first sent us the photos of this vintage art, I thought this was just a small piece like you see in poster racks at frame shops. Fortunately she explained beforehand that it was over seven feet tall. (If you're planning to hire us, measurements are super helpful to help us plan our jobs. They don't have to be 100% accurate, but it makes a big difference to have an estimate of size.)
And in person, this picture is literally larger than life. This was the largest of her collection, and it's really fun to see how a large-scale piece like this can change your experience of the room.
Collecting different posters from the same genre is an easy way to create a cohesive collection, and if you use reproductions, it can also be very cost-effective to fill a wall. Here are a few other pieces we installed in the same home... I really love the elegant couple dancing on a gramophone.
That one went in this sunny dining room. And notice how the homeowner tied the trumpet shape of the gramophone speaker in with the glass lilies on the table. Together with the golden chandelier and wall sconces, the whole effect was very glam.
Across from the stairwell, we hung this peacock-themed green poster high up on the wall... another example of using a big poster to fill up large space. This one was about five feet tall.
The only drawback to hanging large art like this is that it can be difficult to do on your own, especially when you're installing art in a stairwell.
Fortunately we've got the ladders (and the team) to make it happen quickly and easily. Give us a call to get started.
9:00 am to 5:00 pm, M-F
Owner: Arthur Teel
113 Rector Branch Road
Marshall, NC 28753